Quality Development in Process Dominant System


Kumar, Rajeev   (1988, ASQC)   Bharat Heavy Electricals, Ltd., India

Annual Quality Congress, Dallas TX    Vol. 42    No. 0
QICID: 3437    May 1988    pp. 287-296
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Article Abstract

Any Quality Development Programme is accomplished through four different phases:

  • (A) Preparation Phase,
  • (B) Development Phase,
  • (C) Confirmation Phase,
  • (D) Production Phase
The author practiced a similar "hands-on" experience while developing a Quality Development Programme for an electrical sub-assembly used in Large electrical machine. This sub-assembly is manufactured through a process dominant system. The process, though reproducible, undergoes a continuing time-to-time change of such magnitude that product non-conformance is inevitable during the production of the whole lot. For effective Process Control, provision must be made for 'periodic check' and adjustment. The 'periodic check' consists mainly of conventional process control, under knowledge of 'SUPPOSED TO DO'. This required the demands indepth knowledge of:
  • - The product Quality i.e. 'fitness for use', rather than strict adherence to specifications in all Quality characteristics
  • - Clear distinction between mandatory and advisory process tolerances
  • - Providing standards in cases where specifications are silent.
  • - Effective communication with task performer about the purpose being served by the product and the specifications.
  • - Removing confusion of Process Control tolerance with product acceptance tolerances.
  • - Clearly explaining the source of information for decision making before and after the introduction of process control charts.
In the 'preparation' phase all the required management inputs were provided as a first step towards task-performer self control. This necessitated a complete review for the correctness and adequacy of drawings, process-sheets, tools-jigs & fixtures, machines, instrumentation, Q.C. checks, designing suitable data collection formats and providing training to task performer to enable him understand the concept of process control.

In the 'development' phase emphasis was laid on 'process control'. Quality improvement studies were made to understand the role of human being, role of standard operating procedures and role of process parameters. Statistical Process Control (SPC) was instituted for providing true signals against process disturbances. Once control was achieved, then process break-through was achieved to change the present higher level of non-conformance to a new lower level. This resulted in the development of a 'Quality Control Procedure' which covered proven manufacturing procedures, logsheets, Quality-Control check sheets and graphical control devices.

In the next two phases viz. 'Confirmation' and 'production' phase it was primarily the confirmation of results achieved, and thus finalising the 'Quality Control Procedure'. As a result of all these activities, the non-conformance in the sub-assembly has been reduced considerably.

Once the improvement has taken place, it is equally essential to hold the gains achieved. For this, continuous reporting through management information system and audits shall be introduced to monitor performance, to chart progress and thereby enable to provide the mid-course corrections to assure that all the inputs are kept within focus to achieve continuing and on-going Quality Improvement.



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