1. Quality Control
• The quality of a product is determined by how well it suits your needs.
• Where do we have to change production in an industry to improve quality?
Specifications: clarify what is important in a product, the rest is second priority
Design: Only design a product to meet specifications, any more is a waste of time and resources. For example, if a chemical company ‘tunes’ their production for a certain impurity in a raw material, a sudden improvement might hurt their product quality.
Production: to meet the specifications
Inspection: ensure conformance to the specifications, and correct problems.
Review of Specifications: make sure the specs. describe the product well, the specs are useful to customers, etc.
• Two main approaches to quality,
process control: constantly examine input and output and refine process.
• Typical options when products fail inspection.
Reworks (high cost)
Scrap (high cost)
Sell anyway (upset customers, poor reputation)
Downgrade (lower returns), e.g. try to get largest chicken eggs, but when smaller eggs are produced, sell for less.
• What are some of the different ways to inspect processes?
1. Gating: Only examine final product for pass/fail. Not very effective for correcting problems.
2. Design of Experiments: Various process parameters can be varied (e.g. speeds, feeds) and the effects can be examined to determine the best settings for a process.
3. Statistical Process Control (SPC): Various measurements may be done on a part after processing, and the process can be adjusted to keep it within spec.
4. Total Quality Management (TQM)- Try to improve employee attitude (e.g. Friday cars)
• Does it cost more to inspect each process instead of the final product?
The use of statistics allow small population samples to produce enough data for a process. And, it is much cheaper to adjust a process before problems occur, than it is to fix a completed product.
Consider the graph below, there is a basic manufacturing cost per part associated with any piece. If we consider what happens when selecting quality levels, we see that to improve quality to get 0% rejects (all parts good) our costs rise significantly. On the other hand if more rejects are produced, the economic losses rise. There is an optimal point to choose where the quality level of the product will give the optimal economic sense.
• What about the cost of quality?
All products are the results of trade-offs: the most common factor is cost, others include size weight, etc. These vary between industries and products.
We can use (and must in many companies) money as one factor, but we must justify quality for its other benefits also.
customer satisfaction (e.g. no caps on bolts caused Pintos to explode)
• What roles do various departments play in quality?
independent lab standards
dealers and store surveys
evaluate production capabilities
select materials, components
evaluate suppliers (rating, distances, etc)
Packaging and Shipping
funding, staffing, training
Problem 1.1 The graph below shows two curves that relate the cost of a product to the expected value.
a) What are the sources for the two curves on this graph?
b) How can this graph be used when setting engineering specifications?
Answer 1.1 a) Consumer Product Value: typically developed by marketing with survey and research data. Production Cost: a result of design and manufacturing engineering based on machines, materials, etc.
b) By selecting values that fall between the curves the product will be cost effective. The point where the vertical distance between the consumer and production curves is maximum determines the largest per unit profit.
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