Attempt all the questions.
Question1) Describe the different steps of Benchmarking
Question2) Using a schematic diagram, describe the five phases of Strategic Quality Management (SQM)
Question3) How does conceptual approach to ISO 14001 differ from ISO 9001? Which of the elements in ISO 9001 are similar to ISO 14001?
Question4) Choose one chronic quality-related problem in your organization. In respect to that:
(a) Write down a short problem statement.
(b) Write a mission statement for the quality improvement team.
(c) What data can be collected to show proof of need to address the problem?
(d) What departments must be represented on the team?
(e) State one or more symptoms of the problem.
Hank Kolb was whistling as he walked towards his office, still feeling a bit like the stranger as he had been hired four weeks before as director of quality assurance. All that week he had been away from plant at the seminar given for quality managers of manufacturing plants by corporate training department. He was now looking forward to digging into quality problems at this industrial products plant employing 1200 people.
Kolb poked his head into Mark Hamler’s office, his immediate subordinate as a quality control manager and asked him how things had gone during past week. Hamler’s muted smile and an “Oh, fine” stopped Kolb in his tracks. He did not know Hamler very well and was not sure about pursuing this reply any further. Kolb was still uncertain of how to start building a relationship with him since Hamler has been passed over for promotion to Kolb’s job. Hamler’s evaluation form had stated “superb technical knowledge; managerial skills lacking.” Kolb decided to inquire the little further and asked Hamler what had happened; he replied, ‘Oh just another quality snafu. We had the little problem on the Greasex line last week ( a specialized degreasing solvent packed in the spray can for high-technology sector) . A little high pressure was found in some cans on the second shift, but a supervisor vented them so that we could ship them out. We met our delivery schedule!” As Kolb was still relatively unfamiliar with plant and its products, he asked Hamler to elaborate; painfully Hamler continuted.
We have been having some trouble with new filling equipment and some of the cans were pressurized beyond upper specification limit.
The production rate is still 50% of standard, about 14 cases per shift, and we caught it halfway into shift. Mac Evans (the inspector for that line) picked it up, tagged the cases “hold” , and went on about his duties. When he returned at the end of shift to write up the rejects, Wayne Simmons, first –line supervisor, was by the pallet of finished goods finishing sealing up a carton of the rejected Greasex; reject “hold” tags had been removed. He told Mac that he had heard about high pressure from another inspector at coffee break, had come back, taken off the tags, individually turned cans upside down and vented every one of them in the eight rejected cartons. He told Mac that production planning was really pushing for stuff and they cannot delay by having it sent through rework area. He told Mac that he will get on operator to run equipment right next time. Mac did not write it up but came in about three days ago to tell me about it. Oh, it happens every once in a while and I told him to ensure to check with maintenance to make sure filling machine was adjusted; and I saw Wayne in hall and told him that he ought to send stuff through rework next time.
Kolb was the bit dumbfounded at this and did not say much – he did not know if this was a big deal or not. When he got to his office he thought again what Morganthal, general manager, had said when he hired him. He warned Kolb about ‘lack of quality attitude’ in the plant and said that Kolb ‘must try and do something about this’. Monganthal further emphasized the quality problems in the plant: “We have to improve out quality; it’s costing us a lot of money. I’m sure of it, but I cannot prove it!. Hank, you have my full support in this matter; you’re in charge of these quality problems. This downward quality-productivity-turnover spiral has to end!”
The incident had happened a week before; goods were probably out in customer’s hands by now, and everyone had forgotten about it (or wanted to) . There seemed to be more pressing problems than this for Kolb to spend his time on, but this continued to nag him. He felt that quality department was being treated as the joke, and he also felt that this was a personal slap from manufacturing. He did not want to start a war with production people, but what can he do?, Kolb was troubled enough to cancel his appointments and spend morning talking to a few people. After a long and very tactful morning he learned the following information.
1) From Personnel. Operator for filling equipment had just been transferred from shipping two weeks ago. He had no formal training in this job but was being treated by Wayne, on the job, to run the equipment. When Mac had tested high-pressure cans, the operator was nowhere to be found and had only learned of the rejected material from Wayne after the shift was over.
2) From plant maintenance: This particular piece of automated filling equipment had been purchased two years ago for use on another product. It had been switched to Greasex line six months ago and maintenance completed 12 work orders during last month for repairs or adjustments on it. Equipment had been adapted by plant maintenance for handling lower viscosity of Greasex, which it had not originally been designed for. This included designing special filling head. There was no scheduled preventive maintenance for this equipment, and parts for sensitive filling head, replaced three times in last six months, had to be made at a nearby machine shop. Non standard downtime was 15 % of actual running time.
3) From Purchasing: The plastic nozzle heads for Greasex can, designed by thevendor for this new product on the rush order, were often found to have slight burrs on inside rim, and this caused some trouble in fitting top to can. The increase in application pressure at the filling head by maintenance adjustment had solved burr application problem or had at least forced nozzle head on despite burrs. Purchasing agents said that they were going to talk to sales representative of nozzle head supplier about this the next time he came in.
4) From product design and packaging. Can, designed especially Greasex, had been contoured to allow better gripping by user. This change, instigated by marketing research, set Greasex apart from appearance of this competitors and was seen as important by designers. There had been no test of effects of the contoured can on filling speed or filling hydrodynamics from a high pressured filling head. Kolb had a hunch that new design was acting as a venture ( carrier creating suction) when being filled, but the packaging designer thought that was unlikely.
5) From manufacturing manager. He had heard about problem; in fact Simmons had made the joke about it, bragging about how he beat his production quota to other foreman and shift supervisors. Manufacturing manager thought Simmons was one of the ‘best foreman we have….. he always got his production out”. His promotion papers were actually on manufacturing manager’s desk when Kolb dropped by. Simmons was being strongly considered for promotion to shift supervisor. The manufacturing manager, under pressure from Morganthal for cost improvements and reduced delivery times, sympathetized with Kolb but said that rework area will have vented with their pressure gauges what Wayne had done by hand. “But I willspeak with Wayne about the incident,”. he said.
6) From Marketing. Introduction of Greasex had been rushed to market to beat competitors, and the main promotional advertising campaign was under way to increase consumer awareness. Deluge of orders was swamping order-taking department and putting Greasex high on back-order list. Production had to turn stuff out; even being the little off spec was tolerable because ‘it will be better to have it on the shelf than not there at all. Who cares if the label is a little crooked or the stuff comes out with a little too much pressure.? We require market share now I that high-tech segment.
What bothered Kolb most was safety issue of high pressure cans. He had no way of knowing how much of thehazard the high pressure was of if Simmons had vented them enough to effectively reduce hazard. The data from can manufacturer, that Hamler had showed him, indicated that high pressure found by inspector was not in danger area. But, again, inspector had used only the sample testing procedure to reject the eight cases. Even if he can morally accept that there was no product safety hazard, could Kolb make sure that this would never happen again?.
Question1) What are the causes of the quality problems on the Greasex line? Use the fish bone diagram to display causes.
Question2) What common steps must Hank follow in setting up a continuous improvement program? What problems would he have to overcome to make it work?