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Chapter 4. Quality Control Circle / Cycle (QCC). Objectives. After going through this chapter, you will be able to understand: Understand meaning quality control circle cycle, Awareness of objectives of QCC, Acquaintance with types of QCC,

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  • After going through this chapter, you will be able to understand:
    • Understand meaning quality control circle cycle,
    • Awareness of objectives of QCC,
    • Acquaintance with types of QCC,
    • Get acquainted with formation and functioning of QCC.
  • Quality circles are an alternative to the rigid concept of division of labor, where workers operate in a more narrow scope and compartmentalized functions. Typical topics are improving occupational health and safety, improving product design, and improvement in the workplace and manufacturing processes.
  • The term quality circles was defined by Professor Kaoru Ishikawa, a Japanese chemical engineer. The first company in Japan to introduce Quality Circles was the Nippon Wireless and Telegraph Company in 1962.
  • Quality circles are typically more formal groups. They meet regularly on company time is maintained by competent persons (usually designated as facilitators) who may be personnel and industrial relations specialists trained in human factors and the basic skills of problem identification, information gathering and analysis, basic statistics, and solution generation.
  • Quality circles are generally free to select any topic they wish
  • Quality circles have the advantage of continuity; the circle remains intact from project to project. (For a comparison to Quality Improvement Teams).
  • The quality circles developed in Japan in the 1960's much of their development was due to the early work of the American Experts Joseph Juran and Edward Deming, both of whom made frequent trips to Japan in the 1950s.
  • Deming emphasized statistical quality control; Juran emphasized the advantages of good group process in getting quality improvement suggestions from employees.
  • During the late 1950s and early 1960s, many large Japanese corporations began to take quality improvement seriously.
  • As part of their strategy to improve product quality, they made widespread use of employee problem solving groups called quality control circles.
  • The role played by quality circles in transforming the Japanese industry, generally characterized by low quality of the product, to one which excels in quality and low costs has made the quality circles very popular in other countries too.
  • The quality circle concept took birth in India in 1980 when this concept was introduced in the Hyderabad unit of Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL). The growing popularity of the quality circles in India is evident from the increase in the number of Organizations which have quality circles.
  • Quality circles have become universal. They find applications almost every field of human activity - industries, offices, hospitals, service organizations, family etc.
  • Quality circle is a small group of employees (8-12) working at one place who come forward voluntarily and discuss their work related problems once in a week for say for one hour.
  • Features & characteristics of quality circles are as follows:

1. It makes work place meaningful.

2. It shows concern for the total person.

3. It harmonies the work.

4. It removes barrier of mistrust.

5. It is voluntary.

6. It has management’s support.

7. It is participative.

  • Features & characteristics of quality circles are as follows:

8. It involves task performance

9. it is not a substitute for joint plant councils or work committees.

10. It is group activity.

11. It is not a forum to discuss demand or grievances.

12. It is not a forum for management to unload all their problems.

13. It is not a panacea for all ills.

  • Workers meet as a group and utilize their inherent ability to think for themselves for identifying constraints being faced by them and pooling their wisdom for final solution that would improve the work life in general and contribute towards better results for the organization. The objectives of quality circles are as follows:

1. Create problem solving capability,

2. Build an attitude of problem prevention,

3. Reduce errors and enhance quality and productivity,

4. Improve communication in the organization,

5. Inspire more effective team work,

  • The objectives of quality circles are as follows:

6. Promote job involvement and participation,

7. Increase employee’s motivation,

8. Develop harmonious manager worker’s relationship,

9. Develop greater safety awareness,

10. Promote cost reduction,

11. Promote personnel and leadership development,

12. Catalyze attitudinal changes for greater cohesiveness and teamwork.

  • Types of Quality Control Cycles
    • To ensure production and system operation function at their best, businesses use quality control Quality control monitors not only the product itself, but the way it is produced, stored and transported.
    • Some quality control is voluntary, but sometimes quality control records must be kept for state and national regulations.
    • To make a product that is reliable and trustworthy, businesses use different types of quality control through every aspect of production.
  • External Quality Control
    • When products or data is sent to an outside business not affiliated with the company, this is external control.
    • One example of external control in food production is; a food company may routinely analyze the nutritional value or shelf-life of a food item it produces in its own lab, but to verify its results, the Food item will also be sent to an outside lab.
    • This verification by an outside lab is important to obtain Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeling
quality management cycle
Quality Management Cycle
  • Quality management is focused not only on product’ service quality, but also the means to achieve it.
  • Quality management therefore uses quality assurance and control of processes as well as products to achieve more consistent quality.
quality management cycle1
Quality Management Cycle
  • Evolution
    • Quality management is a modem phenomenon. Advanced civilizations that supported the arts and crafts allowed customers to choose goods meeting higher quality standards than normal goods.
    • In societies where arts and crafts are the responsibility of a master craftsman or artist, they would lead their studio and train and supervise others.
    • The importance of craftsmen reduced as mass production and repetitive work practices were established.
quality management cycle2
Quality Management Cycle
  • Evolution
    • The aim was to produce large numbers of the same goods. The first promoter in the US for this approach was Eli Whitney who proposed interchangeable parts manufacture for muskets, hence producing the identical components and creating a musket assembly line.
    • The next step forward was promoted by several people including Fredrick Winslow Taylor a mechanical engineer who wanted to improve industrial efficiency. He is called *the father of scientific management”
quality management cycle3
Quality Management Cycle
  • Evolution
    • Customers recognize that quality is an important attribute in products and services. Suppliers recognize that quality can be an important differentiator between their own offerings and those of competitor (quality differentiation is also called the quality gap).
    • In the past two decades this quality gap has been greatly reduced between competitive products and services. This is partly due to the contracting (also called outsourcing) of manufacture to countries like India and China, as well internationalization of trade and competition.
quality management cycle4
Quality Management Cycle
  • Customer focus
    • Since the organizations depend on their customers, they should understand current and future customer needs, should meet customer requirements and should try to exceed the expectations of customers.
  • Leadership
    • Leaders of an organization establish unity of purpose and direction of it. They should go for creation and maintenance of such an internal environment, in which people can become fully involved in achieving the organization’s quality objective.
quality management cycle5
Quality Management Cycle
  • Involvement of people
    • People at all levels of an organization are the essence of it. Their complete involvement enables their abilities to be used for the benefit of the organization.
  • Process management
    • The desired result can be achieved when activities and related resources and managed in an organization as a process.
quality management cycle6
Quality Management Cycle
  • System management
    • An organization's effectiveness and efficiency in achieving its quality objectives are continued by identifying, understanding and managing all interrelated processes as a system.
  • Continual improvement
    • One of the permanent quality objectives of an organization should be the continual improvement of is overall performance, leveraging clear and concise PPMs
  • Decision making
    • Effective decisions are always based on the data analysis and information.
quality correction circle
Quality Correction Circle
  • There are many methods for quality improvement. These cover product improvement, process improvement and people based (human resource) improvement.
  • PDCA, Kaizen, Six Sigma, TQM are quality management /Improvement techniques methods. These methods are used to quality management and incorporate and drive quality improvement .
quality correction circle1
Quality Correction Circle
  • Improvements that change the culture take longer as they have to overcome greater resistance to change.
  • It is easier and often more effective lo work within the existing cultural boundaries and make small improvements (that is Kaizen) than to make major transformational changes
  • Use of Kaizen in Japan was a major reason for the creation of Japanese industrial and economic strength.
making circle cycle work
Making Circle/Cycle work
  • QC Circle is small group continual control and improvement in the quality of work, products, and service.
  • The Circle is normally composed of three to ten volunteers who come from the same workshop and are under the same supervisor.
making circle cycle work1
Making Circle/Cycle work
  • The small group enables the members to participate actively in Circle activities.
    • During meetings for instance, each member has a chance to contribute ideas; whereas, if the group is more than ten, it may happen that a member is not able to contribute an idea because of lack of time, for the Circle usually meets for an hour at most.
making circle cycle work2
Making Circle/Cycle work
  • Continual control and improvement throughout the flow of work QC circles continue to look for opportunities for improvement from the time they receive their inputs to the time they deliver their product or service to their customers.
  • They employ the concept of the PDCA continual improvement. Because the customer is never satisfied, the Circles never stop looking for better ways of doing the work. Once a problem is solved, they move to solve other problems; thus, they are in a never-ending search for ways to satisfy the customer.
functioning qcc
Functioning QCC
  • A QC Circle is a small group of frontline employees who meet regularly to try to improve the quality of their work. In general their approach is problem-based. They identify problems in the workplace, usually related to product quality and referred to as “themes”, and together they set about finding a solution.
  • They use quality control concepts and techniques, and try to be creative in seeking solutions. Broadly, their agenda is to continually improve and maintain the quality of products, and to constantly strive towards self-development and group development.
functioning qcc1
Functioning QCC
  • The quality of any product or service is determined by the front-line employees.
  • In the manufacturing industry this will be the employees who prepare blueprints, procure materials, manufacture parts products, and sell these to the customer.
  • In the service industry, quality depends on those who, provide services, and those who sell the services to customers.
functioning qcc2
Functioning QCC
  • The QC Circle problem-solving approach seeks to find and remove the root cause of problems through the four stages of the PDCA Cycle — draft plans, implement the plans (do), confirm the results of the implementation; and carry out any necessary follow-up action — Plan, Do, Check and Act: the PDCA cycle.