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Quality Management: Using Six Sigma Program, Implementing a Plan, Capacity Management

How would you analyze the possibilities of doing process capability studies and implementing statistical process control? How would you implement them in the attached process?
How would a six sigma program be utilized in assembly area? How would you utilize certified Blackbelts and Greenbelts?
What kind of recommendations from TQM and ISO9000 should be used for the product process and in the company general?
How would you implement a quality plan in the product line?
What would be a good plan based on the concepts of capacity management?
Would this plan work under the concepts of capacity management?

Notes

The process operators have taken quality seriously on their own. They make sure that the tools and work stations are setup correctly. They also check the quality of parts periodically as they are produced. But they do not follow any specific quality methods or techniques. This approach to quality is the same in all of the various production departments.

The majority of the production quality issues seems to be scrapping bad plastic inserts during the assembly process. A lot of 10 cu. ft. tubs accumulate in assembly. But no one seems to be concerned since these parts are very low cost and the plastic scrap is re-processed. Plastic scrap goes to a re-grind operation, where it is ground up into fine pieces. It is then added to the virgin raw material in a 1 to 9 ratio in the Plastic Injection Molding Department.

Overall Excellent Manufacturing does not have many big issues from customer complaints. There are occasional returns of various products, mostly because of plating and finishing problems. In terms of products, complaints are about the plastic insert falling out and about sharp edges on the brackets. Last year there were 56 complaints complaints. They seem to be on the rise as there are 49 complaints this year during the first four months.

NOTES ON INVENTORIES AND MATERIAL MOVEMENT

EMC does not account for inventories on a an individual product line basis. But data is available for the Construction Hdwe Product Group - see below. Brack is about 85% of this group, so using this info would be representative of the inventories for Bracks.

Plasic Injection Molding process: Plastic resin is moved to the molding machines where it is dumped into feeding hoppers for each machine. As the hopper empties, additional resin is dumped in.

The plastic parts come out of the molding machines and are trimmed where they are collected in 10 cu. ft. tubs. These tubs are moved to the Brack assembly area.

Metal Bracket Process: The plain brackets are stamped out by the progressive dies in the Brack press machine group. They are also collected in 10 cu. ft. tubs and then moved to the Brack assembly area.

Assembly Process: In the assembly process, the operator will do a quick visual check of the plastic insert and the plain bracket before assembly. Bad parts are discarded into tubs. The plastic is recycled via a regrind process. The steel parts cannot be used again and sold for scrap with the rest of the scrap metal.

Bulk Pack Process: The assembled Brack items are collected in 10 cu. ft. tubs and are eventually moved to the Bulk Pack area. Once they are packed, they move into the Finished Goods Warehouse where they wait to be picked and packed in large shipping containers to the customers.

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How would you analyze the possibilities of doing process capability studies and implementing statistical process control?
In this case study, it is clearly evident that the entire process is in need of some rigorous process capability studies that can help create and sustain a quality program that is manageable through statistical process control metrics (Jeang, 2010).
For example; the idea that operators are inspecting parts randomly without a formalized process to reduce defects is evidence of one great possibility for improvement via the implementing of process controls. Additionally, the front end of the process all the way through manufacturing to finishing is in desperate need of data collection and process capability studies to help demonstrate where the greatest strengths and weaknesses abound in the plant. Without this data, it is impossible to manage the process efficiently and effectively (Jeang, 2010).

So, from an overall read of this study, my analysis is that this facility is a prime candidate for implementing process capability and statistical process controls.

How would you implement them in the attached process?
Organizations process will fall into one of the five categories of a typical process capability map as described by Liu (Liu, 2011).

The five capability stages are:
1- Initial Stage - No organized processes in place. The company is essentially "winging" it as they go.
2- Managed Stage- Processes are somewhat under control and managed by repetition to try and help be consistent in meeting customer expectations.
3- Defined Stage - All phases of the organization are tasked with meeting process controls that are clearly defined by internal measures.
4- Quantitative Management Stage- Highly mature organization whose processes are very predictable with a high degree of reliability.
5- Optimized Stage - Processes are consistently reliable and are now capable of being continuously improved and optimized for maximized success (Liu, 2011).

So, reviewing the facility in this attached scenario the organization seems to fall within Stage 2 or the "managed" stage of the capability process. The operators are doing some things repeatedly to try and achieve consistent results, however, the organization is nowhere near where it should be to drive maximized performance and sustained improvements.

Realizing that the process is out of control, the steps to move forward in the capability stages toward optimization of the process will begin to assign a diverse team of process experts with the task of developing a system in control. The team will begin with process mapping. By designing the overall organizational process map, the next step will be to begin collecting data at each phase of the process to analyze repeatability and performance. Based on the results of this data, the team can then begin to establish process control targets at each stage of the process. Once targets are established, data can be used to begin identifying weaknesses in the process that can help the team determine corrective actions. For example, the random inspections by operators of parts could be replaced with a standardized process that determines a frequency ...

Solution Summary

The expert uses six sigma program, implementing a plan and capacity management,

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