Title: Managing quality: the transition from reactive to proactive strategies

Authors: Anoop Desai, Anil Mital

Addresses: Mechanical Engineering Technology and Manufacturing, Georgia Southern University, GA 30458, USA. ' Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221–0116, USA

Abstract: Product quality constitutes a highly crucial component of product design, directly affecting consumer loyalty and company profitability. Historically, manufacturing enterprises have relied on the reactive approach of |inspecting quality| into a product so it may |conform| to design specifications. While this approach has its own advantages, its principal limitation lies in the manufacturers| implicit resignation to the fact that quality needs to be inspected since it cannot be built into product design at the design stage. However, there has been a gradual, yet definite transition from a reactive to a proactive strategy to managing quality by incorporating design techniques that do away with the largely unproductive inspection process. Several leading manufacturing enterprises have been successful in entirely eliminating the need to inspect by adopting a proactive approach to product design. This paper examines and reviews the need and strategic importance of this transition.

Keywords: quality management; inspection sampling; control charts; six sigma; Taguchi methods; quality function deployment; QFD; product quality; product design; product development; statistical process control; SPC.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2009.023749

International Journal of Product Development, 2009 Vol.8 No.1, pp.63 - 79

Published online: 09 Mar 2009 *

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