ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

July 1998


Creating A Workplace Community

Finding Your Way Through Performance Measurement

A Quality Vacation On The Jersey Shore

The Honda Dirtbusters Cleaned Up In Nashville

Consolidation Processes Save Time, Money And Win Awards


As Goes The Follower, So Goes The Leader
by Peter Block

Off -Target Marketing - Can We Talk
by Bill Brewer


Brief Cases
Business News Briefs

Views for a Change

Book Review


Consolidation Processes Save Time, Money And Win Awards

Three organizations received recognition at AQP’s 1998 National Team Competition for their increased productivity and utilization of teamwork within the workplace.
The AQP Gold Award went to the Dirtbusters from Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc., Marysville, Ohio. The Hermetic Perfectors from Emerson Electric Co., Humboldt, Tenn., took the Silver and the Field of Dreams Crew from the Lear Corporation, located in Winchester, Va., received the Bronze award.
The National Team Competition took place at AQP’s 20th Annual Spring Conference in Nashville, Tenn., April 27-29, 1998. A panel of judges rated each team based on the following criteria: support of their organization’s goals, identification of a problem, implementation of a solution, evaluation of the results and presentation skills.
The Gold winners were the Dirtbusters who increased productivity within their Gold Wing Motorcycle Division. The Gold Wing Motorcycle is the Cadillac of motorcycles. The Gold Wing accounts for one-third of Marysville’s productivity. Top quality is the key. But in route to perfection, many problems can arise. The Direct Pass assembly procedure leaves room for errors.
The team’s overall goal, focused within the Gold Wing division, was to improve delivery by two percent. To ensure this success, the paint department needed to improve the Direct Pass assembly procedure to 77 percent to reach that two-percent goal. This was a 32 percent increase from where the level was currently stagnating. The “Specter Red” special edition color is the number one choice of customers and is, ironically, the highest loss item that the paint department produces, due to the amount of flaws and defects in the paint process. After choosing the paint, the trunk body was the part that had the highest level of mistakes. The team then evaluated each procedure and prioritized improvement tactics. By focusing on one item and paint color, the solutions could then be applied to the other nine colors and 27 parts involved. Ultimately, each area of concern that the team suspected as the culprit, panned out to nothing. The team then created a set of counter-measures, prioritized them and standardized them to ensure that the employees achieved maximum quality.
The Silver winner, the Hermetic Perfectors, reduced the occurrence of phase on phase effects in their hermetic motors. The stator core of the hermetic motor which runs an air conditioning unit was the part that the team chose to improve. The part consists of numerous copper wires that cannot touch. There was an immense amount of down time and scrapped parts because the blocker machine that assembled the parts was smashing the wires. This forced the operator to spend extra time separating each of the wires. The team wanted to completely eliminate this problem, which in the past, had just been something that the employees dealt with. The team discovered, through keeping a constant control group and altering the experimental groups by only one factor each trial, that the normal blocker setting of the machine was incorrect. The team completely eliminated the phase on phase occurrence within two months, saving Emerson Electric both time and money in scrapped parts.
The Bronze winner, the Field of Dreams Crew, improved the quality of their Ford Windstar Minivan by also reducing the down time between stages and the amount of scrap parts, thus improving customer satisfaction. Customers were not waiting as long for their vehicle and the number of mistakes decreased. The team focused on the inefficient process of first molding the parts, boxing them up, transferring them to another department, unboxing them, painting them and reboxing them. This process took up to 96 hours. Communication between departments was difficult. If there was a problem, it wasn’t discovered until the entire assembly was complete and then the part would have to be scrapped. The solution was to combine the two stages into one. They reduced the number of people handling the parts from eight to two. An order placed one day can now be finished the next. This combination lessens weekend work for the staff, cuts down on the time doing one job and increases time for other jobs.
For more information about the team excellence award and entry requirements call 1-800-733-3310 or visit our website at

July '98 News for a Change | Email Editor

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