Quality Management

NSK’s Approach

With quality as one of its core values, the NSK Group aims to become “No. 1 in Total Quality.” In other words, we are working to achieve the industry’s best quality in everything we deliver—not only products and services but also information. We believe that this commitment to quality ensures that our products will satisfy customers all over the world.

To achieve our Quality Assurance Vision 2026 (100% good products and services that put the customer first), we engage in activities based on the Three Pillars of NSK Quality Assurance.

Three Pillars of NSK Quality Assurance
Three Pillars of NSK Quality Assurance
Quality Assurance Vision 2026

Our Quality Assurance Vision 2026 sets clear goals and expectations to achieve by 2026. It has Three Pillars, as mentioned above. Across the NSK Group, we are working to build a seamless, consistent system for quality improvement, leveraging inter-departmental collaboration to achieve our goal of being No. 1 in Total Quality. This includes quality at every operational stage, from design and manufacturing, to supplier management and field responsiveness. Our goal is 100% good products and services that put the customer first, by 2026.

Quality Assurance Vision 2026


Quality Assurance Organizations

The NSK Group has established the Core Values Committee to promote and strengthen corporate activities based on NSK’s core values (safety, quality, environment, and compliance). To that end, it identifies issues for the entire Group to address by discussing policies and sharing information on related risks. The Committee also provides suggestions for and monitors progress on solutions to these issues.
The Quality Assurance Division Headquarters is positioned as the global headquarters for quality management, and quality councils have been established within each business unit as subordinate organizations of the Core Values Committee. Together, they work to strengthen quality improvement efforts by promoting cooperation among the manufacturing, sales, and technical departments. The headquarters also reports the Group-wide status of quality management to senior management at monthly Executive Officers’ Meeting.

We have established regional quality assurance departments in South Korea, the Americas, Europe, China, ASEAN/Oceania, and India. This global quality assurance system has been built to meet customer needs in each country and region, as the highest priority. Annual global meetings and biannual regional meetings on quality are held to share and discuss quality-related information and to strengthen monitoring, oversight, and the support structure in each region.

               NSK Quality Council
NSK Quality Council
               Global Quality Assurance Organization
Global Quality Assurance Organization

Targets and Performance

Mid-Term Management Plan 2026 (MTP2026) Targets, with Targets and Performance for Each Fiscal Year
PolicyNSK Product Development System (NPDS): NSK’s proprietary quality management system that quickly translates new orders into reliable, stable productionNSK Quality No. 1 (NQ1) Program: Initiatives to realize stable production and ensure zero defectsHuman resource development:
NSK is promoting the human resource development to build a stronger foundation for quality creation.
  • Improve NPDS quality worldwide
    ・Establish DR experts outside Japan
    ・Establish stricter DR and adopt design-manufacturing integrated digital FMEA
  • Develop a global system addressing design kakotora (quality problems experienced in the past) and expand to manufacturing kakotora (manufacturing problems experienced in the past)
  • Establish digital management of quality
    (completion inspections, traceability, enhanced critical process control)
  • Enhance control of process capabilities
  • Establish a quality DX organization and secure human resources
  • Deploy quality training to all employees (virtualized training/e-learning)
  • Implement training to establish DR experts in Europe and China
    Convert development and manufacturing information into data through full deployment of design–manufacturing integrated digital FMEA
  • Develop a global system addressing design kakotora in design operations and accumulate data
  • Deploy an automated final inspection system to eliminate human error
    Establish a new project team to strengthen traceability for new products and formulate an overall concept
    Strengthen critical process control through remote monitoring and management
  • Visualize process capabilities and tighten rules
  • Establish an organizational structure for a digital platform for quality
    Create training content on quality information and implement training
  • Launch e-Quality-Dojo for online training
  • Prepared educational materials for DR experts outside Japan
    Conducted training for a total of 7 people from quality assurance and engineering departments in Europe and China
    Completed global training (Americas/Europe/China/ASEAN) on how to use the design-manufacturing integrated digital FMEA system
  • Established a global design kakotora system and completed registration of design knowledge
    Started using the system in engineering departments
  • Verified the installation status of automated appearance inspection equipment (scope: global plants)
    Conducted an appearance defect analysis survey to analyze inspection requirements (scope: appearance defects over the past 7 years)
    Established a new traceability promotion project team
    Created guidelines for strengthening traceability
  • Created new rules tightening process capability (scope: new products)
    Started trials based on the new rules (scope: 5 cases)
  • Implemented Group-wide digital training (target: managers and above)
  • Launched online e-Dojo for engineers and conducted training (twice a year) with 92% participation
  • Select 1 DR expert and start practicing DR expert activities
    Create and deploy guidelines for the operation of the design-manufacturing integrated digital FMEA system
  • Expand the global design kakotora system to manufacturing departments and locations outside Japan, and start using it
  • Create guidelines for installing automated appearance inspection machines
    Create a process management checklist and implement self-sustaining promotion of installation at each plant
    Implement process design for introducing traceability in line with the guidelines
  • Officially apply new rules on process capabilities (scope: all new products)
    Create a roadmap for expanding the scope of process capability tightening (scope: existing products)
  • Conduct training for digital promotion personnel in each department (twice a year)
  • Launch virtual quality training for all employees

Quality Improvement Initiatives

To ensure quality that puts customers first, and enduring quality in the field, the NSK Group strives to secure and improve quality throughout the product process, from design, to procurement from suppliers, to manufacturing. We are promoting total quality through the four initiatives shown below.

Quality Improvement Initiatives
Initiatives to Enhance Field Quality

As a firm that services the manufacturing sector, the NSK Group aims to achieve a level of quality that meets the expectations of society at large. This is why we not only strive to satisfy our direct customers, but also look beyond to assess the needs of the end users who use products with NSK components. Our system enables us to both propose and deliver quality products and services that thoroughly fulfill both customer and social needs.

Customer Management Database

In order to accurately meet customer requests, the NSK Group provides technical support related to design and expert knowledge on product usage. We have also established a database of information such as response history for customer inquiries. The information gathered from various countries and regions is used to improve our products and services.

Initiatives to Enhance Design Quality

The NSK Group incorporates feedback from customers into its designs to enhance quality in the design stage. We make every effort to design products with a superior level of quality by drawing on our expertise and experience in the market, cultivated over many years. We always strive to meet our own unique quality targets, going above and beyond the core quality that our customers have come to expect.

Building Quality into Each Process: NSK Product Development System (NPDS)

The NSK Group has globally deployed an innovative quality management system, the NPDS, to respond promptly and reliably to new projects and to mass produce products that satisfy customers. At each stage of the process, from product planning to development/design, prototype manufacturing and mass production, we ensure that any concerns are resolved and strive to improve quality. Even after mass production begins, we conduct thorough management to maintain high quality.

           Outline of NPDS
Education to Improve the Quality of Design Reviews in Developed Products

To improve product design quality in new projects, the NSK Group has its own internal system of experts that perform design reviews (DR) and has implemented worldwide measures to improve DR quality. These DR experts identify issues related to product quality from the design phase and into the mass production phase to prevent problems down the road. Along with the enhancement of DR content for NSK-developed products, we ask these experts to make the most of their knowledge and experience: (1) to promote robust design* proposals that fully meet customer requirements; (2) to build manufacturing processes that emphasize the 4Ms and maintain stable production; and (3) to hand down technology skills while creating learning opportunities for young NSK engineers.

To raise the DR level, the necessary materials and data need to be prepared in advance. When all the participants understand the design details before the DR meeting, the review discussions are more efficient and meaningful. NSK is increasing the number of opportunities for discussions between DR experts and our designers and developers, while working to raise their technical skills and improve the technical data that is needed for each step of the DR process. Moreover, by conducting optimal evaluation and feedback in each step of the DR process, we are working to improve the quality of product development projects as part of our DR quality enhancement efforts.

* Robust design: Design that ensures the required characteristics for various product usage conditions.

Initiatives to Enhance Manufacturing Quality

The NSK Group works diligently to deliver a consistently high level of product quality that meets customer needs.
We also develop manufacturing processes that focus on the 4Ms (man, machine, materials and methods) to further improve product quality.

                4M Priority Issues
4M Priority Issues
Product Assurance through Quality Inspection

To provide customers with assurance that they can use our products with confidence, the NSK Group conducts thorough inspections to ensure product quality. These inspections consist of both visual and functional tests and are conducted at various points of the manufacturing process, from acceptance to shipping, to prevent any defective products from leaving the plant.
Going forward, we aim to improve process assurance and increase efficiency by automating more inspections.

Global Quality Improvement Activities and Their Deployment

Every month, the NSK Group monitors the status of quality management at all production sites worldwide. The NSK Group is engaged in efforts such as zero-defect activities, recurrence prevention activities, and Quality Dojo activities across all production sites as part of its quality improvement activities. The Quality Assurance Division Headquarters has introduced an award system for each activity, aiming to incentivize active participation. In addition, production sites that have achieved particularly excellent results in terms of quality are designated as outstanding plants, and their characteristics and operational initiatives are analyzed and horizontally deployed to other production sites.

Objectives of Quality Information Exchange Meetings for Plants

  • Learn from the successful activities of other plants
  • Share solutions for particular problems
  • Adopt the "Look Across Activities" approach to problems (to prevent problems from recurring at other plants)
Quality Training

To promote continuous awareness and knowledge improvement on quality, one of the NSK Group’s core values, the Group provides quality training for all employees.

Training includes:

  • Rank-based quality training for new employees and managers, tailored for their respective roles and responsibilities
  • Quality-Dojo training that allows employees to learn through actual examples and products
  • Digital quality training for all employees delivered via e-learning
Initiatives to Enhance Supplier Quality

High-quality lubricants, materials, and parts are required to manufacture high-quality products. At the NSK Group, we engage in a wide range of initiatives to enhance quality, based on our strong ties with suppliers. Our Quality Assurance Division Headquarters works to promote quality data visualization at suppliers, implement improvement plans, and carry out quality improvement efforts, collaborating closely with the NSK plants that receive products from suppliers.

Main Initiatives
Briefing sessions by the Global Quality Audit Office on internal activity policiesAt the annual purchasing policy briefing, shared with suppliers the details of a supplier quality control system currently being created
Ascertaining and visualizing the current quality situations at suppliersUsing trend graphs and radar charts to clarify the situation for quality problems originating at suppliers that are detected during receiving inspections and on production lines
Development of a management system for supplier quality problems
  • Managing quality problems originating at suppliers using a system that handles everything from information gathering to data visualization
  • Information standardization, usability enhancement, and flow acceleration
Monthly report on supplier quality issues
  • Using a system to prepare and send monthly visualized data reports on supplier quality situations to business division headquarters and plants
  • Providing quality guidance to and conducting checks of suppliers based on the monthly quality performance of monitored suppliers
  • Quality improvement activities implemented by the top management of the Quality Assurance Division Headquarters for the worst-ranked suppliers
Ascertaining the current situations at suppliers performing final processing
  • Reliably ascertaining the quality situations at suppliers who perform final product processing
  • Raising management to the same level as for purchased items
Other Initiatives
Strengthening Audit Functions

The role of the Global Quality Audit Office at the Quality Assurance Division Headquarters is to monitor compliance situations and potential risks relating to quality control, and to implement preventive measures for potential problems. To fulfill this role, the office conducts audits from a third-party perspective.

The audit office also constantly gathers product recall and defect information on other companies. It examines this information and promotes necessary information development and preventive activities.

Quality Management System

The NSK Group has obtained ISO 9001 and IATF 16949 certifications, the international standards for quality management systems, at its development, design, and manufacturing facilities. In addition, the effectiveness of our quality management system is verified through periodic third-party and internal audits, and when problems are found, appropriate corrective measures are taken to continually improve the level of our efforts.

Response to Product Defects

NSK provides customers with technical information and handling instructions to ensure the safe use of its products. We do our best to ensure quality, but in the unlikely event of a product or service defect, we will promptly inform the customer of the information, and all relevant departments will work together to take prompt and appropriate action to prevent the problem from spreading. We will also investigate the cause of the problem and prevent its recurrence.