Quality Control In Industries Management Essay

Elements such as controls, job management, defined and well managed processes performance and integrity criteria, and identification of records

Competence, such as knowledge, skills, experience, and qualifications

Soft elements, such as personnel integrity, confidence, organizational culture, motivation, team spirit, and quality relationships.

Total Quality Control is the most important inspection control of all in cases where, despite statistical quality control techniques or quality improvements implemented, sales decrease.

If the original specification does not reflect the correct quality requirements, quality cannot be inspected or manufactured into the product.

For instance, the parameters for a pressure vessel should include not only the material and dimensions, but also operating, environmental, safety, reliability and maintainability requirements

Quality assurance

Quality assurance, or QA for short, refers to a program for the systematic monitoring and evaluation of the various aspects of a project, service, or facility to ensure that standards of quality are being met.

It is important to realize also that quality is determined by the program sponsor. QA cannot absolutely guarantee the production of quality products, unfortunately, but makes this more likely.

Two key principles characterise QA: “fit for purpose” (the product should be suitable for the intended purpose) and “right first time” (mistakes should be eliminated). QA includes regulation of the quality of raw materials, assemblies, products and components; services related to production; and management, production and inspection processes.

It is important to realize also that quality is determined by the intended users, clients or customers, not by society in general: it is not the same as ‘expensive’ or ‘high quality’. Even goods with low prices can be considered quality items if they meet a market need. QA is more than just testing the quality of aspects of a product, service or facility, it analyzes the quality to make sure it conforms to specific requirements and comply with established plans

Accuracy of Quality Assurance

There is an extensive process of trial and error in order to ensure quality assurance. By the end of the trials you arrive at an acceptable process that helps you decide the reliability and efficiency of the sample. The process involves meeting specifications such as performance measures and depends on environment operation. The costs of resulting in failure is very high which result in the process of Quality Assurance to be extensive and it is acceptable to delay production until all tests are done and double-checked.

Company quality

During the 1980s, the concept of “company quality” with the focus on management and people came to the fore. It was realized that, if all departments approached quality with an open mind, success was possible if the management led the quality improvement process.

The company-wide quality approach places an emphasis on four aspects :-

Elements such as controls, job management, adequate processes, performance and integrity criteria and identification of records

Competence such as knowledge, skills, experience, qualifications

Soft elements, such as personnel integrity, confidence, organizational culture, motivation, team spirit and quality relationships.

Infrastructure (as it enhances or limits functionality)

The quality of the outputs is at risk if any of these aspects is deficient in any way.

The approach to quality management given here is therefore not limited to the manufacturing theatre only but can be applied to any business or non-business activity:

Design work

Administrative services

Consulting

Banking

Insurance

Computer software development

Retailing

Transportation

Education

It comprises a quality improvement process, which is generic in the sense it can be applied to any of these activities and it establishes a behaviour pattern, which supports the achievement of quality.

This in turn is supported by quality management practices which can include a number of business systems and which are usually specific to the activities of the business unit concerned.

In manufacturing and construction activities, these business practices can be equated to the models for quality assurance defined by the International Standards contained in the ISO 9000 series and the specified Specifications for quality systems.

Still, in the system of Company Quality, the work being carried out was shop floor inspection which did not reveal the major quality problems. This led to quality assurance or total quality control, which has come into being recently.

Difference between manufacturing process control & quality assurance

Manufacturing process control and quality assurance are elements of a quality management system, which is the set of policies, procedures, and processes used to ensure the quality of a product or a service. It is widely acknowledged that quality management systems improve the quality of the products and services produced, thereby improving market share, sales growth, sales margins, and competitive advantage, and helping to avoid litigation. Quality control methods in industrial production were first developed by statistician W. Edwards Deming; the adoption of these ideas in post-World War II Japan led to the production of more reliable goods, with fewer defects, than those of the United States and western Europe, spurring the subsequent global success of many Japanese firms.

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The International Organization for Standardization has outlined quality principles and the procedures for implementing a quality management system in ISO 9000:2000, ISO 9001:2000 and other documents. These documents have become the gold standards of best practices for ensuring quality and, in many fields, serve as the basis for regulation. Barnes1 notes that “ISO 9000 guidelines provide a comprehensive model for quality management systems that can make any company competitive.”

An important element of quality assurance is the collection and analysis of data that measure the quality of the raw materials, components, products, and assembly processes. Exponent statisticians can help companies comply with ISO 9001 standards by developing good data collection and analysis techniques during the design, development, and production stages. Specifically, Exponent statisticians are experienced in:

1. Acceptance sampling 

2. Statistical process control (SPC), including Six Sigma techniques 

3. Troubleshooting studies

Acceptance sampling is conducted to decide whether a batch of product (e.g., supplier components or finished units) is of acceptable quality. Rather than testing 100% of the batch, a random sample of the batch is tested, and a decision about the entire batch is reached from the sample test results. Acceptance sampling was originally developed during World War II to test bullets; since then, numerous military and civilian standards have been developed to encompass various types of quality measurements, and testing and sampling methods. Exponent statisticians are familiar with these standards and can assist clients in evaluating available alternatives-sampling by variables vs. attributes, use of single vs. double or multiple sampling, rectifying vs. non-rectifying with respect to nonconforming items-to determine an appropriate sampling plan.  

Statistical Process Control (SPC) is an effective method of monitoring a production process through the use of control charts. By collecting in-process data or random samples of the output at various stages of the production process, one can detect variations or trends in the quality of the materials or processes that may affect the quality of the end product. Because data are gathered during the production process, problems can be detected and prevented much earlier than methods that only look at the quality of the end product. Early detection of problems through SPC can reduce wasted time and resources and may detect defects that other methods would not. Additionally, production processes can be streamlined through the identification of bottlenecks, wait times, and other sources of delay by use of SPC.

Troubleshooting Studies – If a problem is identified in the end-of-the-line product, a troubleshooting study can be conducted to determine whether changes in certain inputs (e.g., raw materials or process characteristics) are associated with the output variables. Such studies involve the analysis of contemporaneous data recorded on production inputs and outputs. Statistical regression techniques or classification methods can detect associations between raw materials or process attributes and end-of-the-line product outcomes. Although these observational studies cannot definitively prove the existence of a cause-and-effect mechanism, results of troubleshooting analyses may suggest potential targets for corrective actions, as well as off-line experiments or further measurements and analyses to confirm the root cause of the manufacturing problem.

Quality management

Quality management can be considered to have three main components: quality control, quality assurance and quality improvement. Quality management is focused not only on product quality, but also the means to achieve it. Quality management therefore uses quality assurance and control of processes as well as products to achieve more consistent quality.

Quality management evolution

Quality management is a recent phenomenon. Advanced civilizations that supported the arts and crafts allowed clients to choose goods meeting higher quality standards than normal goods. In societies where responsibilities of a master craftsman (and similarly for artists) was to lead their studio, train and supervise the on, the importance of craftsmen was diminished as mass production and repetitive work practices were instituted. The aim was to produce large numbers of the same goods. The first proponent in the US for this approach was Eli Whitney who proposed (interchangeable) parts manufacture for muskets, hence producing the identical components and creating a musket assembly line. The next step forward was promoted by several people including Frederick Winslow Taylor a mechanical engineer who sought to improve industrial efficiency. He is sometimes called “the father of scientific management.” He was one of the intellectual leaders of the Efficiency Movement and part of his approach laid a further foundation for quality management, including aspects like standardization and adopting improved practices. Henry Ford also was important in bringing process and quality management practices into operation in his assembly lines. In Germany, Karl Friedrich Benz, often called the inventor of the motor car, was pursuing similar assembly and production practices, although real mass production was properly initiated in Volkswagen after World War II. From this period onwards, North American companies focused predominantly upon production against lower cost with increased efficiency.

Walter A. Shewhart made a major step in the evolution towards quality management by creating a method for quality control for production, using statistical methods, first proposed in 1924. This became the foundation for his ongoing work on statistical quality control. W. Edwards Deming later applied statistical process control methods in the United States during World War II, thereby successfully improving quality in the manufacture of munitions and other strategically important products.

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Quality leadership from a national perspective has changed over the past five to six decades. After the second world war, Japan decided to make quality improvement a national imperative as part of rebuilding their economy, and sought the help of Stewart, Deming and Juran, amongst others. W. Edwards Deming championed Shewhart’s ideas in Japan from 1950 onwards. He is probably best known for his management philosophy establishing quality, productivity, and competitive position. He has formulated 14 points of attention for managers, which are a high level abstraction of many of his deep insights. They should be interpreted by learning and understanding the deeper insights and include:

Break down barriers between departments

Management should learn their responsibilities, and take on leadership

Improve constantly

Institute a programme of education and self-improvement

In the 1950s and 1960s, Japanese goods were synonymous with cheapness and low quality, but over time their quality initiatives began to be successful, with Japan achieving very high levels of quality in products from the 1970s onward. For example, Japanese cars regularly top the J.D. Power customer satisfaction ratings. In the 1980s Deming was asked by Ford Motor Company to start a quality initiative after they realized that they were falling behind Japanese manufacturers. A number of highly successful quality initiatives have been invented by the Japanese (see for example on this page: Taguchi, QFD, Toyota Production System. Many of the methods not only provide techniques but also have associated quality culture (i.e. people factors). These methods are now adopted by the same western countries that decades earlier derided Japanese methods.

Customers recognize that quality is an important attribute in products and services. Suppliers recognize that quality can be an important differentiator between their own offerings and those of competitors (quality differentiation is also called the quality gap). In the past two decades this quality gap has been greatly reduced between competitive products and services. This is partly due to the contracting (also called outsourcing) of manufacture to countries like India and China, as well internationalization of trade and competition. These countries amongst many others have raised their own standards of quality in order to meet International standards and customer demands. The ISO 9000 series of standards are probably the best known International standards for quality management.

There are a huge number of books available on quality. In recent times some themes have become more significant including quality culture, the importance of knowledge management, and the role of leadership in promoting and achieving high quality. Disciplines like systems thinking are bringing more holistic approaches to quality so that people, process and products are considered together rather than independent factors in quality management.

The influence of quality thinking has spread to non-traditional applications outside of walls of manufacturing, extending into service sectors and into areas such as sales, marketing and customer service.

Quality improvement

There are many methods for quality improvement. These cover product improvement, process improvement and people based improvement. In the following list are methods of quality management and techniques that incorporate and drive quality improvement:

ISO 9004:2008 – guidelines for performance improvement.

ISO 15504-4: 2005 – information technology – process assessment – Part 4: Guidance on use for process improvement and process capability determination.

QFD – quality function deployment, also known as the house of quality approach.

Kaizen – Japanese for change for the better; the common English term is continuous improvement.

Zero Defect Program – created by NEC Corporation of Japan, based upon statistical process control and one of the inputs for the inventors of Six Sigma.

Six Sigma – 6σ, Six Sigma combines established methods such as statistical process control, design of experiments and FMEA in an overall framework.

PDCA – plan, do, check, act cycle for quality control purposes. (Six Sigma’s DMAIC method (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) may be viewed as a particular implementation of this.)

Quality circle – a group (people oriented) approach to improvement.

Taguchi methods – statistical oriented methods including quality robustness, quality loss function, and target specifications.

The Toyota Production System – reworked in the west into lean manufacturing.

10.Kansei Engineering – an approach that focuses on capturing customer emotional feedback about products to drive improvement.

11.TQM – total quality management is a management strategy aimed at embedding awareness of quality in all organizational processes. First promoted in Japan with the Deming prize which was adopted and adapted in USA as the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award and in Europe as the European Foundation for Quality Management award (each with their own variations).

12.TRIZ – meaning “theory of inventive problem solving”

13.BPR – business process reengineering, a management approach aiming at ‘clean slate’ improvements (That is, ignoring existing practices).

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14.OQM – Object Oriented Quality Management, a model for quality management.

Proponents of each approach have sought to improve them as well as apply them for small, medium and large gains. Simple one is Process Approach, which forms the basis of ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management System standard, duly driven from the ‘Eight principles of Quality managagement’, process approach being one of them. The competencies which were hitherto rated as being smaller, are better recognized and now acclaimed to be more potent and fruitful”. The more complex Quality improvement tools are tailored for enterprise types not originally targeted. For example, Six Sigma was designed for manufacturing but has spread to service enterprises. Each of these approaches and methods has met with success but also with failures.

Some of the common differentiators between success and failure include commitment, knowledge and expertise to guide improvement, scope of change/improvement desired (Big Bang type changes tend to fail more often compared to smaller changes) and adaption to enterprise cultures. For example, quality circles do not work well in every enterprise (and are even discouraged by some managers), and relatively few TQM-participating enterprises have won the national quality awards.

There have been well publicized failures of BPR, as well as Six Sigma. Enterprises therefore need to consider carefully which quality improvement methods to adopt, and certainly should not adopt all those listed here.

It is important not to underestimate the people factors, such as culture, in selecting a quality improvement approach. Any improvement (change) takes time to implement, gain acceptance and stabilize as accepted practice. Improvement must allow pauses between implementing new changes so that the change is stabilized and assessed as a real improvement, before the next improvement is made (hence continual improvement, not continuous improvement).

Improvements that change the culture take longer as they have to overcome greater resistance to change. It is easier and often more effective to work within the existing cultural boundaries and make small improvements (that is Kaizen) than to make major transformational changes. Use of Kaizen in Japan was a major reason for the creation of Japanese industrial and economic strength.

On the other hand, transformational change works best when an enterprise faces a crisis and needs to make major changes in order to survive. In Japan, the land of Kaizen, Carlos Ghosn led a transformational change at Nissan Motor Company which was in a financial and operational crisis.

Quality standards

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) created the Quality Management System (QMS) standards in 1987. They were the ISO 9000:1987 series of standards comprising ISO 9001:1987, ISO 9002:1987 and ISO 9003:1987; which were applicable in different types of industries, based on the type of activity or process: designing, production or service delivery.

The standards are reviewed every few years by the International Organization for Standardization. The version in 1994 was called the ISO 9000:1994 series; comprising of the ISO 9001:1994, 9002:1994 and 9003:1994 versions.

The last major revision was in the year 2008 and the series was called ISO 9000:2000 series. The ISO 9002 and 9003 standards were integrated into one single certifiable standard: ISO 9001:2008. After December 2003, organizations holding ISO 9002 or 9003 standards had to complete a transition to the new standard.

ISO released a minor revision, ISO 9001:2008 on 14 October 2008. It contains no new requirements. Many of the changes were to improve consistency in grammar, facilitating translation of the standard into other languages for use by over 950,000 certified organisations in the 175 countries (as at Dec 2007) that use the standard.

The ISO 9004:2000 document gives guidelines for performance improvement over and above the basic standard (ISO 9001:2000). This standard provides a measurement framework for improved quality management, similar to and based upon the measurement framework for process assessment.

The Quality Management System standards created by ISO are meant to certify the processes and the system of an organization, not the product or service itself. ISO 9000 standards do not certify the quality of the product or service.

In 2005 the International Organization for Standardization released a standard, ISO 22000, meant for the food industry. This standard covers the values and principles of ISO 9000 and the HACCP standards. It gives one single integrated standard for the food industry and is expected to become more popular in the coming years in such industry.

ISO has also released standards for other industries. For example Technical Standard TS 16949 defines requirements in addition to those in ISO 9001:2008 specifically for the automotive industry.

ISO has a number of standards that support quality management. One group describes processes (including ISO 12207 & ISO 15288) and another describes process assessment and improvement ISO 15504.

The Software Engineering Institute has its own process assessment and improvement methods, called CMMi (Capability Maturity Model – integrated)

Refrences

www.Wikipedia.com

www.Wisegeek.org

www.ncqa.org

Quality management by Amitva mitra


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