Design Engineering & TQM - A Powerful Union


Kohnen, James B.   (1993, ASQC)   FMC; Santa Clara, CA

Annual Quality Congress, Boston MA    Vol. 47    No. 0
QICID: 9946    May 1993    pp. 119-125
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Article Abstract

A total quality management (TQM) model for design engineering worked well in both a private firm and a government organization because the model was robust, that is, it employed a variety of training and facilitation tools. P. R. Scholtes' Team Handbook provided the guidance for TQM organizational and support activities. At FMC, which produces armored vehicles, world events led to a projected 50% reduction in its work force. The smaller work force will have to be multidisciplinary, multitrained, and highly flexible. FMC management established a multi-million dollar training plan, in which design engineers took courses that would improve quality within the firm and prepare workers who would leave with skills for future employment. The smaller FMC work force led to a flatter organization in which at first there was not enough time or effort to implement quality concepts. To solve this problem, quality teams used distributed learning techniques to work self paced and self directed toward implementation of improvements. A parallel effort at the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers employed the plan/do/check/act approach, under the initial guidance of a quality advisor from FMC.


Continuous improvement (CI),Design,Engineering,Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle,Teams,Total Quality Management (TQM)

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