Quality control system that applies in motor manufacturing

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1.1 Introduction

Manufacturing is the transformation of material into useful product. A manufacturing system is a set of machines, transportation elements, computers, storage buffers, and other items that are used together for manufacturing. People are also part of the system (Manufacturing SYSTEMS ENGINEERING, Stanley B. Gershwin). Quality control is the operational techniques and activities that are used to fulfil the requirements for quality. This definition could imply that any activity whether serving the improvement, control, management or assurance of quality could be a quality control activity. Controls regulate performance. They prevent change and when applied to quality regulate quality performance and prevent undesirable change. (www.qualityinternational.co.uk) When Henry Ford introduced assembly line in order that cars could be manufactured in great numbers, well over a hundred years ago, the last thing that he could have imagined would be that one day Japanese and South Korean cars would better American cars in quality. The reason why Japanese cars have overtaken American was mainly because of the quality control system. Total quality was the aim which they have achieved. A quality control which was developed by several Japanese manufacturers was called total quality control. That meant that no faulty product would be allowed out of the production line. As customers experienced a reliable product and gained confidence, repeat business was assured as customers became loyal to a reliable product. To say that quality control means everything to manufacturers is not an over statement. We might all have recalled that well known brands of car makers that had to recall thousands and thousands of cars to rectify faulty parts such as braking system. This procedure cost these companies an immense amount of money. All these losses could have been avoided if a quality control system was stringent enough to ensure that no faulty product ever left the factory.

Toyota the second largest manufacturer in the world have devised a quality control system over the years through learning lessons on the factory floor. This served them very well as a unique system.

1.2 Aims

To Investigate The quality control system that applies in motor manufacturing

1.3 Objectives

¨ To understand the quality control system that applies at Toyota Motor Manufacturing.

¨ To analyse the quality control system that Applies by Toyota Motor Manufacturing.

¨ To recommend mesures that needed to improve the said system.

1.4 Methodology

¨ To consult quality control text.

¨ To communicate with Toyota UK Ltd. and interview key personnel in the quality control department.

¨ To communicate with Honda UK Manufacturing Ltd. and interview key personnel in the quality control department.

¨ Consult ISO/TS 16949.

1.5 Expected Learning Outcome

As a result of analyzing the information it will be certain that shortcomings are identified and accordingly the appropriate recommendation would be introduced.


2.1 Quality Control

Quality control refers to the group of the routine technical and non technical activities which are performed in order to control and measure the quality of the inventory and the product as it is getting developed. The main purposes for which a quality control system is designed are: (Charboneau, 1997)

1. In order to provide timely and consistent checks for ensuring the completeness, correctness and the data integrity

2. In order to identify and solve the omissions and the errors.

3. In order to document all the inventory material and to archive it and to make a record of all the quality control activities

Generally quality control involves simple method related to the checks on accuracy of the data calculations and acquisition and to check the use of the standard and approved procedures for calculations, emission, uncertainty estimation, measurements, reporting and archiving information. These are general tier quality control activities. The high tier activities related to quality control include technical reviews of the source activities, source categories and the emission methods and the factor data. (Charboneau, 1997)

Before one goes for the implementation of the quality control activities it desirable to first find out the suitable techniques which can be used and when and where they needs to be applied. While making these decisions there are practical and technical considerations involved. The various practical considerations required are discussed in the next section. They generally involve the assessment of the national circumstances like the availability of the expertise and the resources and the particular inventory characteristics. (Charboneau, 1997)

The level of the quality control activities being performed should be compatible with the tiers and the methods of the emission estimation for particular categories of the source.


In order to implement the quality control a lot of resource, time and expertise is needed. The following judgments are needed to be made while developing a quality control system: (IPCC 1997) (Besterfield, 1990)

* The allocated resources to the quality control for the different categories of the source and the process of compilation

* The time allotted for conducting the review and the checks related to emission estimates

* The access and the availability of the data on the emission factors and activities involving the data quality

* The procedures which would ensure the inventory confidentiality and the information on the category whenever required

* Requirements for the information on archiving

* The frequency of the different quality control checks for the different inventory parts

* The level of the quality control checks appropriate for each of the categories of source

* To find if the increase in the efforts for the quality control would result into improved estimates of emissions and the reduction in the uncertainties or not

* To check if sufficient expertise for conducting the reviews and the checks is available or not

In practice, the QC system is only part of the inventory development process and inventory agencies do not have unlimited resources. Quality control requirements, improved accuracy and reduced uncertainty need to be balanced against requirements for timeliness and cost effectiveness. A good practice system seeks to achieve that balance and to enable continuous improvement of inventory estimates. Within the QC system, good practice leads to greater efforts for the important source categories and for those type of categories of source where the methodological and the data changes have occurred recently, than those of the other categories of source.It is unlikely that inventory agencies will have sufficient resources to conduct all the QA/QC procedures outlined in this chapter on all source categories. (Besterfield, 1990) In addition, it is not necessary to conduct all of these procedures every year. For example, data collection processes conducted by national statistical agencies are not likely to change significantly from one year to the next. Once the inventory agency has identified what quality controls are in place, assessed the uncertainty of that data, and documented the details for future inventory reference, it is unnecessary to revisit this aspect of the QC procedure every year. However, it is always advised to have a check on the information validity on periodic basis as there possibilities of changes taking place in the methods of collection, sample size, frequency of collection of data. The optimal frequency of such checks will depend on national circumstances. While focusing QC activities on key source categories will lead to the most significant improvements in the overall inventory estimates, it is good practice to plan to conduct at least the General QC Procedures (Tier 1), (Charboneau, 1997) on all parts of the inventory over a period of time. Some source categories may require more frequent QC than others because of their significance to the total inventory estimates, contribution to trends in emissions over time or changes in data or characteristics of the source category, including the level of uncertainty. For example, if technological advancements occur in an industrial source category, it is good practice to conduct a thorough QC check of the data sources and the compilation process to ensure that the inventory methods remain appropriate. It is recognized that resource requirements will be higher in the initial stages of implementing any QC system than in later years. As capacity to conduct QC procedures develops in the inventory agency and in other associated organizations, improvements in efficiency should be expected.


Below are presented some of the major elements which are needed to be considered while developing a Quality Control system for the product: (Charboneau, 1997)

* An agency which would be responsible for the coordination of the quality control activities

* A plan for quality control

* General procedures for Quality Control also called as Tier 1 procedures

* Specific procedures related to source category also called as Tier 2

* Quality Control reviews

* Documentation archiving and reporting of the procedures

In case of quality control systems the tier 2 procedures involves tier 1 procedures along with some of the additional procedures or activities related to source category

2.4 Quality Control Plan

A QA/QC plan is a fundamental element of a QC system, and it is good practice to develop one. The plan should, in general, outline QC activities that will be implemented, and include a scheduled time frame that follows inventory preparation from its initial development through to final reporting in any year. It should contain an outline of the processes and schedule to review all source categories. The QC plan is an internal document to organise, plan, and implement QC activities. Once developed, it can be referenced and used in subsequent inventory preparation, or modified as appropriate (i.e. when changes in processes occur or on advice of independent reviewers). This plan should be available for external review. In developing and implementing the QC plan, it may be useful to refer to the standards and guidelines published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO)


The focus of general QC techniques is on the handling, processing, documenting, reporting and archiving procedures that are common to all the inventory source categories. It will not be possible to check all aspects of inventory input data, parameters and calculations every year. Checks may be performed on selected sets of data and processes, such that identified key source categories are considered every year. Checks on other source categories may be conducted less frequently. However, a sample of data and calculations from every sector should be included in the QC process each year to ensure that all sectors are addressed on an ongoing basis. In establishing criteria and processes for selecting the sample data sets and processes, it is good practice for the inventory agency to plan to undertake QC checks on all parts of the inventory over an appropriate period of time (Besterfield, 1990)


In contrast to general inventory QC techniques, source category-specific QC procedures are directed at specific types of data used in the methods for individual source categories and require knowledge of the emission source category, the types of data available and the parameters associated with emissions. It is important to note that Tier 2 source category-specific QC activities are in addition to the general QC conducted as part of Tier 1. The source category-specific measures are applied on a case-by-case basis focusing on key source categories and on source categories where significant methodological and data revisions have taken place. It is good practice that inventory agencies applying higher tier methods in compiling national inventories utilize Tier 2 QC procedures. Source category-specific QC activities include the following ( Charboneau, 1997)

• Emission data QC;

• Activity data QC;

• QC of uncertainty estimates.

The first two activities relate to the types of data used to prepare the emissions estimates for a given source category. QC of uncertainty estimates covers activities associated with determining uncertainties in emissions estimates. The actual QC procedures that need to be implemented by the inventory agency will depend on the method used to estimate the emissions for a given source category. If estimates are developed by outside agencies, the inventory agency may, upon review, reference the QC activities of the outside agency as part of the QC plan. There is no need to duplicate QC activities if the inventory agency is satisfied that the QC activities performed by the outside agency meet the minimum requirements of the QC plan. (Charboneau, 1997)

2.7 Quality Control in American Automotive industries

Automobiles one could buy. Now foreign industries such as Japan's are becoming better than the American cars and trucks because of their quality. Quality in automobiles could mean a lot of things such as how long will it last before the first tune up, how long before it needs new brakes, and how much noise it will make driving down the highway at sixty five miles per hour. Joe Vigo, Ford's Area 2 Manager, says, "In the past, warranty was quality. That's how you measured it. If it didn't break, you had good quality. You didn't care if nobody liked how it worked. (Brad, 1989)

Quality control can be defined in several ways. "Juan defines quality as fitness for use.''2 "Crosby describes quality as meeting all requirements with zero defects. 'I3 Both these definitions involve giving the customer what he/she wants at a reasonable price. Some companies used to think quality means that it fulfills the warranty specification, but today most believe that the customer decides what quality is and is not. "According to two of the domestic industry's top quality guns, there are no standard answers. They say the definition of quality will always be elusive, as customer expectations continue to rise.Those who don't follow this don't last long, those who do follow it do last a long time. (Brad, 1989)

One of the largest American automobile manufacturers today, Ford, has been raising quality control measures to ensure high quality automobiles. The development of Ford's Dimensional Control Plan (DCP) has completely changed Ford's concept of quality control. The Dimensional Control Plan came about when in 1980 the Livonia plant had to bid against the Mazda plant to build the transaxle which would be used in the 1986 Taurus'. "Ford sent 40 people from the Livonia plant to visit Mazda in Japan for two week. After seeing how thoroughly the Japanese attacked problems, the Americans tried to mimic what they saw but were unsuccessful. The plan that they came up with to mimic the practices of the Mazda plant became the Dimensional Control Plan. In this plan "Vigo and his people assigned priority levels for quality for all dimensions on every single part on the AXOD transmission. After they finished they had 15,000 quality characteristics so they went back again narrow their sights to the most critical characteristics which dropped the number to 400. This made their quality process more manageable. The DCP is a living Document that is continually updated.' Today the number of critical characteristics is down to 100. (Brad, 1989)

Another big American automobile manufacturer that is in constant state of improving their quality is General Motors (GM). In order to control quality in their automobiles, GM came up with The Quality Network. "The Quality Network was not something that was developed by a group off in the comer and is being shoved on the organization. It is being developed and simultaneously implemented by the organization as a whole. One way they are trying to improve quality is to go from the traditional groups of workers such as Engineering, Manufacturing, Marketing, and Finance; to groups related to the car and trucks groups of the business. Each group working on a particular car or truck is broken down into teams that focus on different parts of that car or truck (Charles, 2003)

GM also uses internal plant audits to measure quality. They call it COVE which stands for Customer Oriented Vehicle Evaluation which is conducted at least once a month in their assembly plants. The audit team shows up unannounced and picks twenty vehicles at random, ten which were built the previous week and ten which were built that current week. The team tries to examine the cars the same way the average customer would by using data collected by customer surveys which states that performance and reliability are the most important qualities. These audits are updated regularly to try to keep up with ever changing customer expectations (Charles, 2003)

Changing company visions, focuses, or ideas is one way of improving quality, but another way one could improve quality control is through quality testing. There are many ways to test for quality, such as, finished product testing, dimension testing, hardness testing, and corrosive testing, and so on. The problem comes in where quality testing on several things is related to customer satisfaction. Not every customer is going to be satisfied with the same thing. "When a consumer climbs behind the wheel and closes the door, he begins to form an opinion of the quality of the vehicle makers are continuously improving their design process in ways that will satisfy the customer's definition (the most important one) of quality. (Charles, 2003)

They follow these four steps:

1. Function - what the product can do and how reliable is it

2. Use Features - ergonomic of the automobile

3. Perception Features - how product fits lifestyle

4. Price - tradeoff factor with other three

By following these four steps designers can help give to the customer what he/she wants and guarantee quality in their product. They can also try to keep the cost down in order to give more to the customer at a reasonable price Changing a company to improve quality is not easy as seen with Molded Fiber Glass Company mentioned earlier. It is hard to have everybody, from the top to the bottom, thinking about quality.

To help an organization make such a drastic change, here are five steps that make the change a little more approachable. (Charles, 2003)

* et an organizational goal and vision.

* Determine what the process is within the organization

* Deploy the organizational goal down to each activity.

* Determine the specific actions within each activity that supports the goal and achieve continuing improvement.

* Deploy the activity goal down to each employee

* Being able to accomplish these five steps will make the change easier and more effective in the quality of one's product.

Another way to change one's company to improve quality and productivity is by using a way of thinking called system engineering. Because systems depend on hierarchies such as subsystems, assemblies, components, etc., they are very complex and hard to deal with. "System engineering has been developed as a means of dealing with this complexity, by providing a conceptual and organizational framework for managing the design, development, manufacture, marketing, servicing, and ultimate disposal of a system. ''" System engineering also promotes competitiveness by encouraging innovation in the system and its infrastructure. There are seven steps in system engineering:

1. Research the market for the model.

2. Design conceptually ways of fitting innovations into the new system.

3. Design in detail, including analysis, synthesis, simulations, and testing.

4. Identify and resolve interaction effects caused by adding innovations.

5. Develop, concurrently with the preceding steps, manufacturing processes, incorporating the innovation.

6. Develop, concurrently with the preceding steps, processes for assuring quality in the new system.

7. Develop, concurrently with the preceding steps, plans and processes for marketing and servicing the system

2.8 Features of Japanese Quality Control

The present Japanese QC are represented in the following six items. Recently, some enterprises in other countries follow the similar lines of QC (Evans, 1999)

1) Company Wide Quality Control (CWQC), which indicates the QC with all the departments and employees of a corporation, participated

2) QC with emphasis on education and training for all the employees from top managers to workers;

3) Quality Control with QC circle activities;

4) Quality Control with QC audits, by the president of the concerned corporation and by the Deming Prize Committee, whose members are composed of academic and research specialists from non-profit organizations;

5) QC with effective utilization of statistical methods;

6) Promotion of QC activities by the way of nation-wide movements


* Michael Burke, "How Quality is Factored into the Design Process," Automotive Engineering v- 97 1989: pp. 65

* 'Brad Stratton, "The Refined Focus of Automotive Quality," Quality Progress v. 22 1989: pp.48

* Ken Sippola, "Eight Steps to a Quality Turnaround. " Quality Progress v. 24 1991: pp. 44

* Evans, J.R. and Lindsay, W.M. (1999). The Management and Control of Quality. South-Western College Publishing, Cincinnati: OH.

* Charles (2003). The Automotive Quality Standard: QS9000 and ISO/TS16949. Northern Illinois University Business and Industry Services.

* Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (1997). Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventoires: Volumes 1, 2 and 3. J.T. Houghton et al., IPCC/OECD/IEA, Paris, France.

* International Organization for Standardization (ISO) (1994). Air Quality, Determination of Performance Characteristics of Measurement Methods. ISO 9196:1994. ISO, Geneva, Switzerland.

* Alexander, S.M. and Jagannathan, V., 1986. Advisory system for control chart selection. Computers in Industrial Engineering 10 3, pp. 171-177

* Besterfield, D.H., 1990. . Quality control Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ.

* Brink, J.R. and Mahalingam, S., 1990. An expert system for quality control in manufacturing. USF Report, pp. 455-466.

* Charboneau, H. and Webster, G., 1997. . Industrial quality control Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ