In the high-technology sector, the Greasex line is specialized in manufacturing solvents packed in cans for degreasing. Nonetheless, the company had experienced some trouble with the new filling equipment. The main problem was the presence of high-pressure beyond the required upper specified limit in some second shift cans. However, these problems as identified from the case study are related to several areas. They include personnel such as the newly assigned operator from a different department. He lacked formal training and was also negligent as he was absent from his position of operation during the process. Moreover, Mac Evans; the line supervisor, after picking and tagging the cases as “hold”, went on his duties and did not supervise their progress. Although vetted by hand by Wayne Simmons, the first-line supervisor, they could still be of low quality and pose safety threats to the customers.
In addition, the machinery used was not initially designed to handle the process involving lower viscosity of Greasex, lacked preventive maintenance schedule. The appropriate equipment, which is the special filling head for the process, had been poorly and haphazardly adjusted. Materials used in production such as plastic nozzle can heads were designed on a rush order by a vendor and, therefore, had slight burrs on the inside rims causing fitting problems. They had to be forced on by increased pressure application at the filling head. Hamler; the quality control manager, on the other hand, does not check with maintenance to ensure adjustment of filling machine. With regards to the production plan, although the rejected Greasex cans were vetted thus delivered in time, Simmons was avoiding delays on the shipment schedule. He was supposed to send them to the rework area to ensure quality standards of productions. Measurement on the possible outcome of the process on the product design and packaging was not accurately done. This is because the contoured- can acted as a carrier creating suction from a high-pressure filling head. The management generally failed on its part as it hastily introduced Greasex to beat competition, therefore, producing a product with 50% standard rates.
Fishbone Diagram on the causes of Problems on Greasex Line
General Steps to be taken by Hank to set up a Continuous Improvement Program for the Company
The continuous improvement program for the company entails improvement of quality. The information provided by Morgantal, the general manager, concerning the lack of quality attitude would play an important role in his efforts. For solutions to be found, Hank, the new director of quality assurance needs to brainstorm with other managers and supervisors. He will have to use the Six-Sigma project method and Design, Measure Analyze, Improve and Control the processes of implementation. In general, it will put a stop to the downward quality-productivity-turnover trend and reduce the cost in terms of money spent. To achieve this, he has to start by talking to the staff in the production unit and personnel in general and to determine and study the fundamental cause of the problem.
After the study, he should outline a plan of action which should be communicated to the top managers. Subsequently, other staff will be met and informed on the new policies. This may also involve hiring and training of personnel. Some adjustments he will need to do are to ensure that people working on delicate areas have the required standards of training, and are present in their fields at all working times when required. The right equipment should be purchased and used for their specific intended jobs. This should in turn be used for the production of the right product. If any adjustments are to be made, it should be done by renowned and qualified places and workforce. A preventive maintenance schedule should, in addition, be prepared for all equipment.
Purchases and orders should be made early in advance to ensure quality standard material use in production. In case of such problems, the purchasing agents should not wait for the next time but notify the vendor immediately the problem is identified. The management should ensure that any new inventions to beat competition are tested for appropriateness and compliance with the related processes. They should also not be prone to trouble causing after implementation. Rejected stuff must be taken to the rework area to ensure standard quality instead of subjection to manual correction. However, any good work should be rewarded. The quality assurance department needs to make sure that a larger sample is taken for test all the time to ascertain that the products are safe for use.
There was a major problem of postponement of intentions and actions. Most personnel worked with their attitude in the future which Kolb should strive to change. To avoid future problems, mistakes should be reported and handled immediately they occurred so as to be solved appropriately. Furthermore, proper plans have to be made before the introduction of a new product and more so placing it for advertisement to make consumers aware of it. The company had to ensure that production would meet demand. It was also viewed that slightly below quality was Harmler. However, all personnel had to be notified on the need for high-quality production, safety and lack of compromise. This is more important than schedule and market share, and thus should be prioritized. He is bound to face some resistance at first, but should insist on the advantages on the plan in increasing quality and safety hence customer satisfaction as well as saving on costs.
Manufacturing Service Processes. Case Study. Hank Kolb. Director Quality Assurance: pp. 174