Responsibility for Product Quality Problems in Sequential Manufacturing: A Case Study From the Meat Industry
This research presents a case study from the meat industry that developed an innovative product but failed to achieve expected profits due to manufacturability issues and high production rejects. The production staff believed the high levels of rejects were beyond their control and the product was unresolved when the product development (PD) team handed it over to them. On the other hand, the PD team believed the product was manufacturable and the production staff was incompetent and was not following the production procedures. With the application of statistical process control (SPC) the production rejects were reduced from more than 22 percent to less than 7 percent. Complete elimination of these rejects, however, was not possible because the production processes were incapable of producing the product. The PD team, when designing product, failed to consider manufacturability issues, and at the same time the production failed to follow the production processes. This paper also demonstrates the application of a relatively unknown technique known as variation transmission analysis (VTA) to estimate the variation attributable to different stages of the production process and to prioritize these sources of variability in the final product for further quality improvement.