Title: Assuring quality at the source with varying worker skills: economic justification of the online repair policy
Author: Dooyoung Shin, Hokey Min
Department of Management, College of Business, Minnesota State University, Mankato, Mankato, MN 56001, USA.
James R. Good Chair in Global Supply Chain Strategy, Department of Management, Room 3008C, College of Business Administration, Bowling Green State University, USA
Abstract: Traditionally, quality control on an assembly line has been conducted by quality inspectors at the end of the assembly line. Defective or incomplete parts identified during the production cycle are typically transferred to a separate repair shop where such parts are reworked, retested, re-inspected or replaced. In contrast, today's repetitive manufacturing companies have begun to delegate the power and responsibility of quality inspection and control to assembly workers on the line. This so-called online (line-stop) repair policy has been receiving increased attention from many manufacturing companies. Through a series of computational experiments, this paper examines the effectiveness of the online repair policy, which empowers workers to assure quality on the assembly line. Under varied assembly line configurations, quality failure costs of the two repair policies are estimated and compared to verify the superiority of the online repair policy. The computational results indicate that the online repair policy can be far more effective in assuring quality and saving costs than the traditional offline repair policy.
Keywords: assembly line repair policy; quality assurance; cost of quality; CoQ; quality inspection; quality control; online repair policy; employee empowerment; line stop repair.
Int. J. of Services and Operations Management, 2008 Vol.4, No.6, pp.709 - 729
Available online: 16 Jun 2008