The COPQ Iceberg

S.M Junaid is the Production Manager of Procon Engineering Pvt (LTD) from Karachi, Pakistan. He periodically shares kaizen examples with us. His previous contributions can be found here and also here. Today’s kaizen example is titled “Elimination of Rework Muda in Stamping Parts”.

The following are the observations and the vital reason of defect / rework MUDA which has been observed during production of sheet metal components.

Dies tempering (heat treatment) is a basic requirement in the manufacturing of dies specially piercing punches, bushes and cutting edges. We are going to cut or pierce a metal by another metal.The tool metal must be harder than the cutting metal, so the cutting tool should be properly tempered. Lacking this in tool manufacturing increases burrs in sheet metal parts trim edges and piercings. This ultimately results in to rework MUDA in production because the customer (assembly lined) needs burr free parts.

What is more interesting is the realization that the COPQ or Cost of Poor Quality is often much larger than it first appears. Typical elements of the COPQ include inspection cost, testing cost, rework cost, customer returns etc. However there are many other costs which are not traditionally measured as part of quality cost, but significant nonetheless. Junaid came up with the COPQ Iceberg to visualize this.

“Defect MUDA is like an ice berg where the hidden portion of ice berg is larger than the visible portion. The hidden portion is more dangerous than visible portion so there is a need to eliminate the hidden portion of Ice berg to save our journey toward MUDA elimination.”

This is a great application of the lean principle of “making problems visible” to the important topic of the cost of poor quality. It’s important to take a deep breath and dive deep to see what is beneath the surface.


  1. John Santomer

    June 25, 2011 - 11:52 pm

    Great post Jon!
    At the rate things are going in Junaid’s company, it is the embraced responsibility of the associate that continually buoys the flawed processes to lean levels. One can’t help to brush from your old blog – Assessing “Respect for People” on a Gemba Walk.
    “I don’t believe it is useful to highlight the two pillars of respect for people and continuous improvement or to treat them separately. Kaizen without respect for people is just work intensification and respect for people without kaizen is just impractical and unsustainable social welfare. Each is essential to the success of the other.”
    “I used “mutual respect” instead of Toyota’s “mutual trust” because I think trust is an output of all of these actions, not an input. No matter how much we place trust in others, it does not result in mutual trust without action to earn the trust. Creating a safe environment, showing mutual respect, taking responsibility etc. result in trust.”
    “…many of these continuous improvement efforts faltered because they were not woven tightly into the people systems within the organization including hiring, orientation, development, recognition, promotion, and strategic management.”
    It then falls in the management’s choice to embrace the trust shown by Junaid and return his trust. Start drilling down on the hidden cost of poor quality “iceberg” to realize a mutually beneficial and sustainable solution.

  2. Greg Weisenborn

    June 27, 2011 - 6:14 am

    Jon –
    I’m getting ready to update some lecture materials… do you have an “original source” for the concept of the COPQ Iceburg? I’ve seen it in a couple of different places recently, but not sure about an original source… help?

  3. Jon Miller

    June 27, 2011 - 9:43 am

    Hi Greg
    I’ve seen various icebergs used to illustrate inventory, problem solving, lean culture, but this is the only one I’ve seen for COPQ. I checked with Junaid before posting and he assured me the image and wording were original and his, so you can cite him.

  4. junaid

    June 27, 2011 - 11:06 pm

    Basically our aim is to save journey toward MUDA elimination and this Ice berg exercise will help us to identify obstacle up to our destination this is the basis theme of my article, there are many obstacles dies tempering is one of them, I hope the idea has been clearly delivered but anyone have more knowledge about this topic please shear with us, I am ready to learn anything, any time from every one, because I believe that ideas are countless.

  5. Stephen Jarman

    July 8, 2011 - 6:03 am

    Hi Jon,
    I just reviewed an entire site that produces engineered-to-order products. In this setting, rework and remake of product requires technical staff time and this in turn drains engineering capacity which leads to a reduction to the normal flow of production. Another under-the-surface cost category could be “loss of capacity.” And of course, this further leads to loss of customer satisfaction.

  6. muhamad

    August 2, 2011 - 4:50 pm

    Hi Jon,
    Interesting knowlodge you are share here. I think COPD is a core matters in business or others organisation should apply.
    Is possible to share with me more about COPD.

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