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Quality Management Tools & Techniques - Assignment Example

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Prior to commissioning a production process, engineers and process owners must carry out rigor testing procedures in order to ensure that that actual process capability meets technical expectations. Testing enables objective determination of parameters that influence a…
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Quality Management Tools & Techniques Assignment
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Quality Management Tools & Techniques Assignment Introduction Prior to commissioning a production process, engineers and process owners must carry out rigor testing procedures in order to ensure that that actual process capability meets technical expectations. Testing enables objective determination of parameters that influence a process’ compatibility with production standards. In addition, testing is instrumental in facilitating acquisition of information relating to process reliability. This paper entails testing whether technical parameters of a process used in production of hard disk drives meets the required standards. Three design specifications are to be maintained in development of the process. The first two design specifications are measurement of distance between two parts of the process while the third specification is power in form of current. Measurement of the distance is in millimeters, where the first one, A, must be 11.5 +/- 1.0mm while the second one, B, must be 8.5 +/- 2.0mm. Finally, current, C must not exceed a maximum threshold of 2.5 amps. In order to appraise the processes technical capabilities, a histogram for the three variables will be plotted and resultant patterns used in selecting optimal set of conditions.
Process testing is an essential step in development of manufacturing processes. Engineers and process owners cannot commission manufacturing processes before validating their level of compatibility with pre-determined standards. In this regard, one reason for carrying out process testing involves the need to detect errors. New processes may have technical errors which may lead to increased cost of operation. For example, the process in subject may need current exceeding the technical limit of 2.5 amps. However, optimal operation of the hard drive production process needs a maximum current of 2.5 amps, above that threshold compromise on the power efficiency of the entire production setup. In this case, testing facilitate early detection of errors which would hinder optimal performance later. Apart from errors, testing is also necessary as a means of appraising safety standards. Douglas (2008) mentioned that employees involved in operating the disk drive machine must be certain of their safety aspects. Conventionally, every industrial process must conform to some specified safety standards. Therefore, testing will facilitate quantification of the process’ integrity. Detection of any deviation from conformance limits warrants use of appropriate corrective measures.
Normally, most processes fail to undergo thorough testing because of numerous factors. One of those factors is insufficient testing and quality control standards. Undeniably, one cannot obtain reliable safety information about a process after running it for just 3 hours. According to Douglas (2008), process testing requires employment of appropriate scientific tools and techniques. In this context, the tool employed is a histogram. The histogram will facilitate visual representation of process variables. Through the visual representation, one will be able to categorically establish the relationship between serial number and each of the specifications mentioned earlier. Lack of a histogram will undermine on the objectivity of testing results. Another factors hindering efficient testing of production processes is inadequate gathering of relevant data. The table of values used in development of a histogram contains 60 pairs of variable data. The vastness of values collected enhances on the accuracy of findings obtained from construction of the histogram. Therefore, adequacy of testing variables is instrumental in ensuring reliability of subsequent findings.
Frequency table for values of specification A
Prior to constructing the table, one must acknowledge the fact that the lowest value for specification A is 11.1 mm and the highest value is 12.1mm. In this case, the range of the measurement is 12.1 – 11.1 = 1.0. The histogram will have 5 classes. This means the class width will be 1.0/5 = 0.2 Therefore, each class width must be specifically 0.20 mm. The width will be used in determining the lower and the upper class limits; hence determining the frequency of each class.
Class
Lower Limit
Upper Limit
Frequency
1
11.1
11.3
7
2
11.3
11.5
29
3
11.5
11.7
6
4
11.7
11.9
10
5
11.9
12.1
8
Total Frequency
60

The frequency represents the regularity of occurrence of numbers falling within a given range. For example, the lower and upper limit for the first class is 11.1 and 11.3 respectively. The class’ frequency is 7. This means number falling within the range of 11.1-11.33 are 7. The lowest frequency matches the 1st class while the highest frequency matches the 5th class, with a total of 7 occurrences. The histogram will be a plot of class’ mid-points against their corresponding frequencies. The table below, which is used in plotting the histogram for specification A, shows class mid-points against their frequencies.
Class
Mid-point
Frequency
1
11.2
7
2
11.4
29
3
11.6
6
4
11.8
10
5
12.0
8
Total Frequency
60
Discussion
Based on the developed histogram, it remains evident that most measurements for specification A of the hard drive machine are normally distributed with on extreme value of midpoint 11.4. The total frequency of both 1st and 2nd classes have a cumulative frequency of 36 whereas the 4th and 5th classes have cumulative frequencies of 18 implying that most values were concentrated between first and second classes. In this case, data for the specification are positively skewed.
The positively skewed nature of the histogram indicates that specification’s values appearing on the right of the graph are consistent with optimal functionality of the hard drive manufacturing process. On the contrary, values of A on the left side of the histogram display substantial inconsistency with standard process variables. According to Douglas (2008), most process variables will be either positively skewed or negatively skewed. Skewness indicates a variable’s consistency with optimal process parameters. When data appear positively skewed as it appears in the histogram above, it means measurements for specification A should be kept at values on the right hand side. Specifically, measurement for specification A must fall within the 4th class range with the highest frequency.
As acknowledged earlier, testing of process parameters features as one effort of establishing optimal operation condition of a production unit. Optimization of process variables not only ensures system’s economical efficiency but also enhance aspects of product quality. In this case, testing find wide application in quality management techniques. Process optimization is consistent with objectives of quality management. Based on the histogram, the hard drive production unit will be at its peak optimization when measurements of specification A are kept within the range of 11.1 and 12.1 mm. As acknowledged earlier, measurement for specification A must be 11.5 +/- 1.0mm. The value of 11.5 mm falls within this optimal range. Therefore, quality of products is at their peak when measurement of specification A and any other specification falls within the class with highest frequency.
Frequency Table for values of specification C
Prior to constructing the table, one must acknowledge the fact that the lowest value for specification C is 0.7 Amps and the highest value is 3.7amps. In this case, the range of the measurement is 3.7 – 0.7 = 3.0. The histogram will have 5 classes. This means the class width will be 3.0/5 = 0.6. Therefore, each class width must be specifically 0.6 amps. The width will be used in determining the lower and the upper class limits; hence determining the frequency of each class.
Class
Lower Limit
Upper Limit
Frequency
1
0.7
1.3
12
2
1.4
2.0
28
3
2.1
2.7
19
4
2.8
3.4
0
5
3.5
4.1
1
Total Frequency
60

The frequency represents the regularity of occurrence of numbers falling within a given range. For example, the lower and upper limit for the first class is 0.7 and 4.1 respectively. The class’ frequency is 5. The table below, which is used in plotting the histogram for specification C, shows class mid-points against their frequencies.
Class
Mid-point
Frequency
1
1.0
12
2
1.7
28
3
2.4
19
4
3.1
0
5
3.8
1
Total Frequency
60
Based on the developed histogram, it remains evident that most measurements for specification C of the hard drive machine are skewed to the right. The distribution of datasets is normally distributed with highest percentage of datasets around the midpoint of 1.7.The extreme value of 3.7 shows that it is the point when electricity can be disastrous to the production and efficiency of the machine. Therefore, quality of products is at their peak when measurement of specification C and any other specification falls within the class with highest frequency. The optimum point whe the machine is effective is when the supply of electricity is at 1.7amps and don’t exceed the maximum of 2.5amps.
Conclusion
In conclusion, it is undeniable that process testing is a requisite in ensuring process optimization and quality management. Failure to ensure conformance of variable specifications to optimal standards comes with a price. Such failures undermine on quality of products. In addition, lack of conformance increases the cost of production because maximum utilization of production line is not optimized. Use of scientific methods like histogram construction indicates specific measurements where process and quality optimization can be achieved.
References
Douglas, M. (2008). Quality Management: Introduction to statistical quality control. Harrisburg: John Wiley & Sons. Read More
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