Today, I have finished the Quality reliability and Maintenance Module. Before the start of this module I was really looking forward to it. With a background in Industrial Engineering, I had some knowledge and initial interest in quality but not so much in maintenance and reliability. We were introduced to different definitions of quality and also to the works of quality gurus, which have fascinated me. Also, The idea of quality and how it is perceived differently from one quality pioneer to another have made me eager to know more.
A lot of things I have learned during this model. The Kano model was one of the new things that were introduced to us during the model. I realized that the customer requirements are essential and must be investigated in order to achieve their satisfaction and consequently have good quality. Kano model is a good tool to understand the customers and improve the quality.
In addition to the Kano Model, there was the quality house (or Quality Function Deployment). A tool that helps understanding the customer needs and could be applied in the design process. I read about this tool before but did not understand how it is used until we were introduced to it during this module. The usefulness of this model is that it translates customer’s requirements and integrates these in the design of the product.
Also, companies usually introduce new strategies and policies and it was kind of vague to me of how could the strategy is applied in the organization. And how it is translated from the top management to the operations level. The answer to my questions came during the session of the Policy Deployment. We were presented to what I think is very effective tool in this manner which is the Hoshin Kanri. It is a methodology that provides the path to achieve strategic goals. The simplicity of the tool makes it easy to use and communicate. Also, I found with no surprise that the Deming’s PDCA cycle could be seen in this tool and this would help in the continuous improvement. I believe this was really important and it would be beneficial to apply when we engage in the industry.
I used to believe that applying quality tools could add cost to the company but I found out the having bad quality costs more. The effect of rework or scrap work to the company must not be neglected. Quality tools help a lot in saving money to the company by preventing defects and providing products with what the costumers expect and are willing to buy. Also, I learned the importance of defining what the poor quality could cost the company as top management usually are interested in numbers and a company is there to make money.
This leads me to talk about reliability. After the course of this module I have gained complete understanding about the importance to design products that are reliable. In other words, to have products functioning well during their useful life. Designing for reliability, how reliability is measured and reliability tools were new things to me and have also made realize how important it is the statistics and to have a good statistical tools in the design of products.
Part of the model was about the Six Sigma which was not of a value to me as I did have some knowledge about Six Sigma and the session did not introduce me to anything new. But the DFSS had added something new specially in the process of using DFSS and how it is different from the DMAIC.
Indeed, a great deal of knowledge is gained during this model. But this knowledge is useless without actual application. For me, I think I will be able to apply much of this when I go back to my employer!!