At Heartland Fabrication, everyone is Committed to Quality. From drawing reviews through the final Surveyor’s inspection, HLF is committed to build the best inland river barges in the country. There are many process actions we take to produce high quality products which include: ensuring accurate construction drawings are on the shop floor in each Production area, making raw material lifts with magnets, verifying part dimensions in each work area to ensure dimensional control, maximizing the use of jigs and hard stops during fabrication, minimizing the use of fitting aids in erection by ensuring dimensional accuracy, controlling and automating welding processes to ensure consistency, documenting training and qualification of our workforce, Quality Control oversight from our Leadmen and Foremen in each Production area, and Quality Assurance oversight from our Quality Department personnel. HLF employs the classic QC/QA Quality approach where our Production leadership provides hands-on Quality Control functions to the workforce, noting any issues as they arise. Our Quality Assurance Inspectors then follow up in areas which require additional oversight or in areas where we are just striving to improve. Our QA Inspectors also provide the hands-on oversight of the entire Production process, assuring the delivery of a high quality barge. All of our QA Inspectors are qualified in PT, MT and UT non-destructive testing practices and perform NDT inspections on all three shifts in the plant. Data on quality deficiencies are recorded and maintained in a Quality data base. Senior management formally reviews quality data and trends weekly and then presents findings in formal Production Meetings to shop foremen. Sample data from a few of the areas analyzed weekly are presented here on the linked example charts.
Heartland Fabrication is committed to build the best quality barges in America and will continue to invest in our quality program. We have a registered Master Surveyor on staff to provide a formal quality critique on every barge. Our current quality processes and the data trends validate the commitment and support continuing deficiency reduction, worker skill level improvements, and additional automation. Our goal is to implement and achieve continuous improvement through employee training and process improvement.