Table of contents
About this book
Quality is a topical issue in manufacturing. Competitive quality performance still eludes many manufacturers in the traditional industrialized countries. A lack of quality competitiveness is one of the root causes of the relative industrial decline and consequent trade imbalances which plague some Western economies. Many explanations are advanced for poor quality performance. Inadequate levels of investment in advanced technology, together with insufficient education and training of the workforce, are perhaps the most prominent. Some believe these problems are caused by a lack of awareness and commitment from top management, while others point to differences between industrial cultures. The established remedy is known as Total Quality Management (TQM). TQM requires a corporate culture change, driven from the top, and involving every employee in a process of never-ending quality improvement aimed at internal as well as external customers. The techniques deployed to achieve TQM include measures to improve motivation, training in problem-solving and statistical process control (SPC). Quality is, however, only one of the competitive pressures placed It is also upon the manufacturer by the modem global economy. imperative to remain economical and efficient, while increasing the flexibility and responsiveness of the design and manufacturing functions. Here the reduction or elimination of stock is of great importance, particularly as financial interest rates in the less successful manufacturing nations are frequently high. Product life cycles must become ever more compressed in response to the phenomenal design to-manufacture performance of some Pacific rim economies.