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Quality Parts Case Study

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Week Four Case Study

Quality Parts Company

Anthony Decker

Operations Management OSC301

University of Phoenix

6 December 2004

Week Four Case Study

In the case study of the factitious company, Quality Parts Company (QPC), QPC supplies gizmos for a computer manufacturer located a few miles away. Although the text states that QPC manufactures only two models of gizmo, it also states that manufacture for models X and Y start at machine 2, the lathe, while model Z requires milling at machine 1. Based on the latter information, this analysis will assume that the former is a mistake, and rely on the three model scenario. The company produces two different models of gizmos in production runs ranging from 100 to 300 units.

Figure 1. QPC Workflows

The manager of Quality Parts Company has been contemplating installing an automated ordering system to help control inventories and to "keep the skids filled." (She feels that two days of work in front of a workstation motivates the worker to produce at top speed.) She is also planning to add three inspectors to clean up the quality problem. Further, she is thinking about setting up a rework line to speed repairs. Although she is pleased with the high utilization of most of her equipment and labor, she is concerned about the idle time of the milling machine. Finally, she has asked the industrial engineering department to look into high-rise shelving to store parts coming off machine 4.


Milling for Model Z 20 60

1. Lathe 50 30

2. Mod. 14 drill 15 5

3. Mod 14 drill 40 5

4. Assembly step 1

Assembly step 2

Assembly step 3 50



5 Inspection 30

6. Paint 30 20

7. Oven 50

8. Packing 5

Table 1. QPC Operations and Set-up time

The Manager of QPC was looking to solve several problems within the work flow of the company. One such improvement contemplated was the hiring of three inspectors to clean up a quality problem.

In the JIT ((Just-in-time) Integrated activities designed to achieve high volume production using minimal inventories of raw materials, work-in-process, and finished goods.) model, one of the elements for reducing waste is "Quality at the Source." Quality at the Source means do it right the first time and, when something goes wrong, stop the process or assembly line immediately. Factory workers become their own inspectors, personally responsible for the quality of their output. Workers concentrate on one part of the job at a time so quality problems are uncovered. If the pace is too fast, if the worker finds a quality problem, or if a safety issue is discovered, the worker is obligated to push a button to stop the line and turn on a visual signal. People from other areas respond to the alarm and the problem. Workers are empowered to do their own maintenance and housekeeping until the problem is fixed. Using this methodology, the need to hire three inspectors would be eliminated.

Establishment of quality circles can also aid in reducing quality problems. In quality circles, employees meet regularly to discuss their jobs and problems and attempt to devise solutions.

The JIT model leaves no room for surplus or safety stock. No safety stocks are allowed because if you cannot use it now,



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