Title: Product quality pointers for small lots production: a new driver for Quality Management Systems

Authors: Matteo M. Savino, Stefano Apolloni, Yacine Ouzrout

Addresses: Department of Engineering, University of Sannio – Piazza Roma, 21, 82100, Benevento, Italy. ' Department of Design and Industrial Engineering, University Federico II of Naples, P.le V. Tecchio, 80 – 80125, Naples, Italy. ' PRISMa-Lyon2 Laboratory, Universite Lyon 2 – 160, Bd de l'universite 69676 Bron Cedex, France

Abstract: Quality Management Systems (QMS) can be a strategic tool for improving a firm|s management because it allows the identification of a set of quality pointers able to monitor every process. Recent renewals of QMS have involved a redefinition of the pointers system through new processes and procedures to guarantee an effective process control and satisfaction of user|s requirements. This work aims to develop a QMS methodology able to define a set of finalised pointers to objectively measure production improvements, or to define the lacks of a certain production process, especially when product personalisation is emphasised. The methodology has been applied to the production process of an SME producing motor caravans and motor homes characterised by a high level of product personalisation. The improvements obtained have been mainly related to a decrease in Non-Conformities (NCs) in production and, with the new QMS, the production processes have given the same performance with the introduction of new products.

Keywords: quality management; small lot production; quality pointers; product quality; process control; SMEs; small and medium-sized enterprises; product development; production improvement; motor caravans; motor homes; product personalisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2008.016378

International Journal of Product Development, 2008 Vol.5 No.1/2, pp.199 - 211

Published online: 22 Dec 2007 *

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