Quality Assurance Case Study Essay


This case involves a man named Hank Kolb who has recently taken on a role as the Director of Quality Assurance as a manufacturing plant. He has been brought in to ensure quality in a place that is known for have a lax attitude about quality and safety. The product described in the case is Greasex, which consists of solvents packed in cans for decreasing. The company has experience some trouble with the filling equipment

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The problems in the case are related to several areas.

They include personal such as the machine operator having no formal job training. Also included in plant maintenance in that the equipment was not designed specifically for Greasex in addition they are only running at 70% capacity. There are also purchasing problems. The plastic nozzle heads used in production have slight blurs on the rims, which causes fitting problems.


Hank has come in to put some structure around the quality process, which will be a challenge due to the fact that there is a very low accountability on quality.

There is really no concern for quality as long as the job got done. Schedule is the main priority and quality is just a secondary thought. There main concern is getting their product out the door, even if there are flaws and potential defects. The company doesn’t appear to have any concern with how to fix their problems and improve their process and product. They are only concerned with the short-term fix needed to get the immediate work done.

Hank Kolb should begin by getting buy in from plant senior leadership team on the need to focus on quality and laying out the benefits of pursuing a robust program. Given the support of the General Manager, Hank needs to ensure that he has support from the plant manager as well. * Quality Program, Initiatives, and Procedures to be defined / refined * Set Quality goals for the department and communicate to the plant * Standard work instructions for factory taking quality defects into consideration

Case 1: Hank Kolb, Director Quality Assurance

Question1. All the various causes of the quality problems on the Greasex line, depicting the answer on a cause-effect (or fishbone) diagram. Answer 1. The problem which occurred in the Hank Kolb Case can be attributed to the following listed reasons 1. Low accountability on quality: Everyone was rushing through the work. No one was really concerned about the quality of their deliverable. 2. Schedule vs Quality: Quality took a backseat when schedule was to be met. It shows the hurry for keeping the product on the rack as soon as possible. 3. Focus on short term: Focus was always on how to get the fix done to get the immediate work done. Focus was never to fix the problem. 4. No prequalification of process :

5. Quality Dept. not taken seriously 6. Absence / Non adherence to Standard Operating Procedures 7. Quality and other dept too friendly: Quality dept was too friendly with other dept to the fact that they never thought as to why their work was always being compromised. They were not able to realize that they were not doing what was expected out of them 8. Lack of total approach to product development: There was a lack to approach leading to product development. Fish Bone Diagram of the root cause of Hank Kolb case

Question2. The general steps for setting up a company-wide continuous quality improvement program which Hank could propose for the company, for consideration by the general manager, Morganthal. Answer 2. General Company wise improvements on quality

1. They could start with senior management to manage the company by a visible quality philosophy and take a long term view of their company where they empower the Quality director to institute quality programs that infiltrate the attitudes of all employees across the company. 2. Quality should be of utmost importance.

3. Start collecting data on why and how the machine breaks down… * Mandatory formal training regarding operation of all factory machinery * Flow chart completed of the Grease-X manufacturing processes done by multi-functional team of quality, maintenance, purchasing, design engineering, packaging, &manufacturing * Look into ordering equipment to produce the product properly, try and get used equipment first and then purchase new equipment (Equipment not very good at making the product). * Purchasing needs to hold suppliers accountable for delivering quality products. Set up Supplier DPPM measure and set goals to be achieved to produce the product efficiently * Design Engineer needs to look at can design to see if it could be causing some of the problems with the pressure

* Manufacturing needs to understand quality function important throughout the production of the product and training needs to happen on the floor around working with the other departments once flow chart is completed from multi-functional team * Plant Manager needs to reach out to the marketing team and let them know site needs to fix quality issues so the product coming out may be down temporarily while the issues are being fixed. Stress that once it is done, they should see more product that is correct coming out of the plant Use Histogram over time to evaluate if the defects are going down. Institute Control Charts with strict upper and lower limits that need to be met for the pressure of the Grease-X line

* The requirement of leadership from upper management to change an organization’s view about quality and to implement a quality improvement initiative. In order to setup a successful continuous improvement program Hank will have first to study very carefully the fundamental problems that caused the lack of quality from the first place. Once this is accomplished he will need to make sure that the senior management be involved in order to provide a clear support for a quality philosophy that will change the attitudes across the company. To follow up on the change of attitude in the entire company, Mr. Kolb will then need to start an awareness campaign in which it will provide the workers a clear unde.

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