A Success Story


Jinks, Joyce S.   (1991, ASQC)   Aeroquip Corporation, Automotive Products Group, Livingston, TN

Annual Quality Congress, Milwaukee WI    Vol. 45    No. 0
QICID: 9721    May 1991    pp. 671-675
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Article Abstract

This paper describes the changes that took place over a three-year period as Aeroquip Corporation, an automotive supplier, progressed from a philosophy of "quality control" to "quality assurance." After the plant relocated to Tennessee, the new plant manager established three goals:

  1. Bring together the northern and southern cultures;
  2. Instill a quality ethic into the new organization by developing quality standards based upon an absolute knowledge of what the customer wants; and
  3. Equip the new plant and develop a staff capable of meeting a very competitive future.
Although the plant faced many obstacles in its first year, it achieved most of its goals. The turning point came in the second year when production accepted responsibility for the quality of parts and worked together to control variation. Also, the quality department changed its name from "quality control" to "quality assurance" and quality inspectors became quality technicians. Quality efforts had an impact on profit sharing, reinforcing a positive rather than punitive approach. During the second year, operators received additional SPC training, and there were fewer customer concerns.

By year end, Aeroquip received the Q1 award from its customer, Ford Motor Company. In the plant's third year, its reputation for excellence in both quality and delivery was growing. Aeroquip continued its quality efforts, focusing on both external and internal customers and focusing on the quality of its suppliers.


Standards and specifications,Automobile industry,Culture,Manufacturing,Quality assurance (QA)

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