Huttunen, Edward K. (1992, ASQC) General Electric Appliances, Columbia, TN 38401
Two years after the introduction of new material combinations in a rotary compressor for household appliances, the Evaluation and Reliability Section started seeing data analysis that suggested a significant percentage of compressors in the field would experience accelerated wear on the compressor vanes followed by premature failure.
In response to this crisis, several cross-functional teams were formed. One team concentrated on pro-actively helping the customers who already owned an affected compressor. The other team was responsible for changing the design and manufacture of the compressor to eliminate the root cause of the failure.
Materials and part finishes/geometry were deemed crucial to design failure, so the company committed to making the vane out of a new material and to new, exacting dimensions. As purchasing endeavored to find a reliable source of vane blanks made of the new material at a cost that would keep the compressor's price competitive, the team wrestled with finding a tool builder who could make a vane to meet the new, exacting specifications.
Customer supplier relationships,Customer satisfaction (CS),General Electric (GE),Machinery,Measurement and control,Quality Improvement Team (QIT)