Quality is essential to our project because we need quality planning and quality work to meet the projects purpose and deliver the project’s goal. In plain English, quality is what makes something good. In business, what is good is what adds value to the business, service or product. Deming, the creator of the field of total quality management (TQM), defined quality as “conformance to specifications.”
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According to recent work (Sid K., 2004), in project management, there is a fundamental connection from value, to purpose, to goal, to detailed requirements, to specifications, and from specifications to a working product and a successful project. Quality is what holds them together. Each project is unique and we must define quality differently for each project. We must make sure that the definition of quality is the customer’s, not just our own. When we have a picture and a set of requirements, we know what is really of value to the customer. If the requirements are right, then, we can build a good specification. Then, when we deliver a product or service conforming to that specification, we deliver quality and value. Following that formula is a recipe for success.
Aims and objectives
The main aim of this report is to design a quality management system which ensures continuous improvement for this company and enables them to alleviate the continuing quality issues that are inherent in their company at present. Analyze the prior information and make judgements as to possible causes of poor quality by using the statistics and using quality control tools such as; flowcharts check sheets, Pareto diagrams, histograms, cause and effect diagrams, scatter diagrams and control charts. Propose the solutions to improve quality on all levels of the value chain.
JEEVES PLC is a company, manufacturing and selling domestic robot, which is designed to carry out a wide range of domestic chores. The robot has human appearance as shown in the picture 1.
Picture 1. Domestic robot.
The factory operates all days, except Sundays and two weeks each Christmas and summer. Both manual and clerical staffs are members of National Union of Robot Constructors (N.U.R.C). The production system runs in 3 shifts, 8 hours per shift. Next chart shows the hierarchy of the company.
Production Control manager
Shift 2 Manager
Shift 3 Manager
Assistant Works manager
Staff of 15
Total staff of approx. 150 each
Software Installation Supervisor
Legs Assembly Supervisor
Heads Assembly Supervisor
Fronts Assembly Supervisor
General machining Supervisor
Shift 1 manager
Final Assembly Supervisor
Arms Assembly Supervisor
Backs Assembly Supervisor
Cleaning & Spray shop Supervisor
The robot equipped by the last word of technology and has modern voice programming and simple speaking abilities. It is made of light alloy and has sensory apparatus, which lets him not to bump into things. The robot also has a keyboard and hypercard storage system located underneath the panel in the chest. This makes him more flexible, due to its programmable ability. Several standard software applications for domestic chores are offered within the initial purchase price.
The production line consist of 13 sections: cutting, pressing, cleaning and spray, jointing, general machining, backs, fronts, heads, arms, legs assemblies, adhesives, final assembly and software.
All production process can be finished in 4 – 5 weeks. Initially, sales department orders the robots from the factory. Ultra lightweight Kevlar and alloy sheet steel is ordered from the local steel stockholders and components such as the radar vision system, audio recognition, electric motor and battery are ordered from component suppliers and inspected at the second week. The sheet steel is cut on a guillotine. Any scrap is discarded. Special joints are precision machined, after these, the cut sheets are pressed into shapes (fronts, backs, arms, legs and heads) and drilled to facilitate assembly. The guillotines, presses, and other machinery are controlled by technologic operator. The shaped cases are then cleaned, burnished and sprayed in the appropriate colour. The cases proceed through a series of chemical treatments to prevent corrosion and to prime the surface. They are then normally blow dried using a hand held hose. Then, spraying is an automated process. Two coats are applied and after the first coat the casings are machine polished. Hand finishing and polishing completes the process. The joints must be able to rotate in 6 planes both clockwise and against clockwise. The company uses its own patented precision jointing system in order to increase the degree of freedom and its accuracy. The last stage of the production process is carry out sub assembly and final assembly and inspection and then transfer to the finished goods store on the 4 – 5 weeks.
The analysis of the system
Problems in production process
This process is very complex, and needs very accurate skills for staff. In this section we use very sophisticated and expensive apparatus. Table 1 below shows the percentage rate of jointing mechanisms with the dates.
Table 1: Percentage rejection rate of precision jointing mechanism.
Graph 1: Rejection rate in percentage.
From the above graph we can analyze that the rejection rate is at its peak on Mondays. Also we can evaluate that the morning shift supervisor have good competence and relationships with his personnel. We know that the production process operates in 3 shifts, 8 hours per shift, except Sundays and holidays. So, on the Mondays to start run the factory we need to spend more money and time, because several machines must to become warm before they will start to work. The productivity of the company increasing at these times, on the other hand it is strongly recommended to make one day break per week for all – staff and factory.
Further analysis shows that the rejection rate during the night shifts is higher than the daily shifts. Table 2 shows the total rejection rate of each shift.
Graf 2: Percentage rejection rate in each shift.
From the above graph we can see percentage rejection rate in each shift. Night shift staff can be faced with some difficulties. In our opinion, due to human nature employees at this period of time don’t give much attention on their work. Their body clocks are disconcerted. They need more motivation and teamwork.
The components assembly is done by semi-skilled workers using power tools. There are also some parts and connections where can be used only females, due to high sensitivity and carefulness. Females try to do their work more accurate than males, and give more attention. This is very important on all stages of the process. The rejection rate for loose components at this point is approximately 1.2 %. A further 0.5% is rejected at final inspection, causing expensive rework situations. There is a staff turnover of 25% per annum amongst such operatives in the back casing sub assembly section. This strongly affects all quality elements in the system.
From the data given from case study we can build Pareto Diagram.
Graph 3: Pareto diagram.
This shows percentage of overall total rejects and cumulative percentage of rejects.
The beneath diagram of the causes and effects in production process helps to produce deeper investigation of current situation.
Diagram 1. Causes and effects in production process.
Quality costs and productivity
A recent estimate of quality costs showed that they were distributed as follows,
Failure prevention cost
Appraisal and inspection cost
Internal in plant failure cost
External field failure cost
Table 3: Quality costs
Graph 4: Quality costs pie chart
Quality costs pie chart illustrates data from Table 3. From the case study we know, that staff turnover has averaged 15% and has been fairly consistent over a period of time. Absenteeism has averaged 6% peaking in August and December but consistent over several years.
After the initial spurt of investment the amount of capital employed in the factory has been flagging – expressed in terms of £ per employee. Productivity, expressed in terms of output per ‘direct’ (factory) employee has been as follows:
Output per Person
10.4 units /annum
9.7 units per annum
8.8 units per annum
Table 4: Productivity, expressed in terms of output per ‘direct’ (factory) employee.
Vigour of productivity is decreasing while the capital employed per / person / per unit / per annum gradually increases over the years.
Warranty and claims management
Track warranty information and expirations, determine whether equipment is covered by warranty, monitor warranty repairs and customer claims, capture and analyze warranty-service costs, and file and track warranty claims against OEMs.
The following business goals and objectives can be achieved through the implementation of these processes:
Improving Customer Service
Improving Service Delivery
Increase Speed & Efficiency
From the case study, the data sheet for Warranty claims we are building Pareto diagram.
Graph 5: Pareto diagram for Warranty claims.
As a result we can identify major types of complaints and claims from Pareto diagram.
1. Robots responding incorrectly to commands
2. Robots crashing into obstacles
3. Burnt out electric motors
4. Robots not responding to commands
5. Intermittent power lost
The solutions for analyzed system
Ahead of the providing with the suggestions, we must be familiar with the impact of HF on the system and the playing role in it.
In relation to current paper (Baybutt P.), people are key components of processes and there is no step in the process life cycle without human involvement.
According to (SearchSOA.com, 2000), in industry, HFs is the study of how humans behave physically and psychologically in relation to particular environments, products, or services. Vast amount of organizations have HF department, to analyze how designed new product or service will be accepted by the users, how the organization’s personnel can work more effectively without accidents and human errors.
The system we have studied is very complex and integrated. It is automated, but not automatic due to participation of human factor. In decomposition we can see two main elements: technology process and human factor. They affect the system very strongly.
We must understand the role of human factor on all levels of the value chain. It can be all staff, customers, rivals, and etc. The main role in productivity also plays human factor. Below fishbone breakdown strategy shows causes mainly affecting the organization’s objectives.
Figure 1: Fishbone diagram.
Human factor is very important, because on manufacture always exist human error. Human is very unpredictable, due to its behavior, physiology, history, culture, and etc. These all can affect people and change their moods; as a result we have human errors, decreasing productivity, increasing all costs, wasting time and money. All positive indicators in the systems will be reduced.
We need to motivate people, and make all conditions for productively work. Every person is unique and every person needs individual approach of motivation. For somebody monetary motivation is good, another one needs motivations like little break, vacation or just warm words. The best solution is, if managers will try to understand their personnel, collaborate, interact, and support them.
Building teamwork, try to work together is also one way of motivation. It will give energy and spirit, increase productivity in all dimensions. Costs will be reduced and staff turnover will decrease.
To sustain competitive advantage over rivals, to reduce number of technological and economical processes we need to automate all stages of production process. As a result, we can use personnel in other organizational needs. Technology powerfully supports business strategies and makes obstacles to enter the market other competitors. Our company trying to use the latest technology and software engineering to have competitive advantage, which will benefit for long period of time.
If most processes within systems will be automatic, the workers can develop and upgrade their knowledge and skills. These issues are very important for our staff.
All departments should collaborate and try to make warm and happy atmosphere.
There must be other department, who will learn about customers and clients. Focus on the target markets and try to look for new potential users.
Our product is an innovation in technology. Ideas and collaboration are the fuel for innovation. And organizations that can tap into and quickly leverage the collective creativity of their employees and customers have greater potential to disrupt the status quo and leapfrog the competition.” (IBM, 2007, pp. 2-8) The organizations must to have immunity to rapidly changing environment. The linkage between business and technology is very important issue. Where the technology needs to have; an optimal combination of scalability, flexibility and serviceability, keeping in mind the requirements and stakeholders expectations to support the business for organisations and satisfy the needs of consumers as defined in Shraddha Tilloo’s (2006, pp 1 – 12) study.
Moreover, we need to control major elements within system like time, quality, functions, resources and risks.
Reorganisation of the manufacture’s management and the way they operate is required. The structure of the organization must be flatter; to decrease the way the signal proceeds from top to down. Thus, it will make easier to control major elements. The new departments must be open like; Research and Development and Human Resources departments. They can consist from two and more employees due to our budget. Sometimes it’s better to involve independent specialists, who have fresh view on the current situations, and have deep knowledge and understanding in stringent fields.
Not enough to have just purchasing manager. We must mind advertising and promotion part of the strategy. It is very complex concept in purchasing process. Must be done external and internal assessment of the environments, it will help to select most optimal target market, increase income and save our budget. Our product will be well known and easy selling.
To integrate the subsystem of low quality of robot’s jointing compounds, we need to follow the operational techniques and the activities which will sustain a quality of product and service that will satisfy given needs. The quality management system must be developing with continuous improvement, to sustain quality and business objectives.
We analyzed the JEEVES PLC Company, which produces innovative product – the robot, designed to help our customers in domestic chores. To maintain quality and to analyze current dilemmas on all phases in production and trending processes we have been used the statistics from case study and quality control tools such as; flowcharts check sheets, Pareto diagrams, cause and effect diagrams, scatter diagrams and control charts. Above recommendations will affect the organization effectively, and will lead to continuous improving quality on all levels of the value chain and sustain competitive advantage over opponents.
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