A Quality Data System Achieves TQM & Company Goals


Getty, Robert L.; Davis Jr., Charles E.   (1989, ASQC)   Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., Fort Worth, TX

Annual Quality Congress, Toronto, Ontario, Canada    Vol. 43    No. 0
QICID: 3644    May 1989    pp. 700-705
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Article Abstract

The Quality Management System (QMS) at Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. (BWTI) develops a quality data system that will be an integral part of the new quality culture advocated by the Department of Defense (DoD) -- the Total Quality Management (TQM) strategy for reducing the cost of defense procurement. TQM espouses a shift from end-item inspection to process control based on the premise that quality cannot be inspected into the product, but it can be produced into it by control of design and manufacturing processes.

This paper provides a general description of the Quality Management System, a review of the database and its applications, implementation considerations, and future directions. Throughout this writing, QMS is identified in its role to satisfy both the objectives of TQM and the contractor's good business practice.

QMS collects data from initial identification of nonconforming activity, through the material review process, and beyond to the burden caused by field failures. The heart of QMS is a series of analyses to determine the root causes of process failures. It is an on-line, interactive software system providing traceability of quality performance for all levels of decision making -- from internal management to the government's in-plant representative. QMS satisfies all known government directives for tracking nonconformance costs, developing Statistical Process Control (SPC) candidate applications, process control, vendor rating, and rejection trending and reduction. QMS facilitates concurrent engineering, as it has the potential to deliver "lessons learned" from manufacturing to designers on the drawing board. QMS is a new software system presently undergoing full scale implementation at BHTI. It was designed as much for user acceptance as it was for acceptance by the government customer and by BHTI's own internal management. It is a robust measure of organizational performance, living up to BHTI's mission for continuous improvement.

The contention of this paper is that the data provided by QMS enters into a "greenfield" with respect to measurement of quality within the aerospace and defense community. QMS isolates all value added costs accumulated up to the point of defect occurrence -- the cost of time, the cost of material, and the cost of capital. It captures the internal manufacturing failure cost and progresses on to incorporate the cost of external field failure. Because of QMS's ability to report manufacturing yield and process data, it prepares Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc. for achievement of "Exemplary Facility" status as outlined by the DoD's Total Quality Management strategy. We currently know of no other information system to attempt this goal.


Aviation industry,Case study,Computers,Defects,Department of Defense (DOD),Documentation,Total Quality Management (TQM)

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