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Managing quality is important in all business and is crucial for small business. There are four major reasons as to why (Linton, 2018). Firstly, it is to meet customer expectations. Without the customer, there’s no reason for the business to exist. They usually provide the specifications for the product they want and the vendor has to meet or exceed those specs. Secondly, managing a reputation. Quality dictates how the vendor is perceived in the industry. This is how they get repeat business and keeps the company a going concern. Thirdly, meeting industry standards. Compliance to the standards set by the industry ensures that quality is met. This is vital as the standards are put in place because failure can result in injury or, worse, death. Therefore, these standards are formulated due to past errors and potentially saving lives. Lastly, managing costs. Rework and scrap costs companies money. Quality management ensures that nonconforming goods or services are minimized, if not deleted altogether.
For this research paper I have chosen to discuss implementation of Quality Management System (QMS), specifically the utilization of the SIPOC diagram, by CMN, a precision parts manufacturer for the aerospace industry. The SIPOC diagram is integral to a Six Sigma tool of Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC). The diagram is completed during the Define or Measure phase which will help to answer the following questions (SIPOC):
CMN is a family owned small business that manufactures for the defense aerospace industry. They have been in business for 30 years and are located in Southern California. They have annual revenues of $10M with a growth rate of 7% Year-over-Year within the last decade. They offer the following services:
Their current clients include Lockheed Martin, Rockwell Collins and NASA. Their staff regularly receive the training necessary to effectively operate specialized equipment that they employ to produce their products. In addition, they also manufacture parts for small-arms for the US military and custom machined parts for motorcycles.
CMN currently has a QMS plan in place to address standards and procedures pertaining to quality. With the increasing use of Six Sigma for process improvement, the aerospace industry, as a whole, has become more stringent in ensuring that parts produced meet or exceed specifications over 99% of the time. CMN is also ISO 9001 compliant due to the nature of the aerospace parts that they manufacture. This standard is intended for use by organizations that design, develop, or provide aviation, space, and defense products and services; and by organizations providing post-delivery activities, including the provision of maintenance, spare parts, or materials for their own products and services.
In the aftermath of last decade’s economic turmoil, the Aerospace industries face many challenges. This encouraged many industries to utilize the latest technologies and make adjustments in how they operate. Quality management system enables organizations to address the growing impacts of quality and process improvements. QMS allows aerospace industries to remain crucial in a highly competitive and growing market amid these unstable economic conditions. They need to be responsive to these industry changes in order to be competitive. They need to ensure customer satisfaction on the products and services they provide so that they can grow their profits over time. By utilizing the tools and principles of quality management, aerospace industry organizations are able to be flexible and respond to the changes and challenges they face.
One of the products that CMN had quality issues with was a panel that was to be used to mount other parts and would then be installed in a military aircraft. The panel had sixty-four holes that need to be drilled, all the same diameter, and a heli-coil would then be threaded into those holes. After the heli-coil has been installed, bolts of various lengths are then bolted through the holes to attach various other parts. There are two types of heli-coils, locking and non-locking. For this particular application they need to have locking ones installed. This allows the bolts to only go on a certain depth and stop. However, after the first batch was made the customer called and informed CMN that they have installed non-locking ones so the parts were not within spec. CMN immediately initiated an investigation. They constructed a SIPOC diagram (Fig. 1) to outline their manufacturing process to help determine the root-cause of the problem.
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