THE IDSTORY AND EVOLUTION OF QUALITY
Banks (1989:4) expresses the view that quality control may be considered as old as the human race when activities that ensure a product or seiVice satisfy a desired or specified standard are perceived as quality control activities.
In his earliest state, man was a gatherer and hunter of food and was therefore dependent on nature as the manufacturer. As man initiated manufacturing activities, by growing his own food, he did so as •usufacture•, that is, manufacture for one’s own use. Usufacture implied that quality activities were performed by the same individual. In these early times quality control acts were performed subconsciously by single individuals in their everyday activities.
According to Banks (1989:4) it is not known precisely when subconscious quality control came to an end. However, archaeological fmdings attest to conscious efforts in controlling quality, as can be observed by the perfection and endurance of Egypt’s pyramids. Ancient Greeks and Romans left a legacy in quality control, especially in architecture and engineering, with some constructions still standing today. Juran (1990:25) explains that product and process designs attained high levels of proficiency in China’s ancient times in that bronze wares from that era have been the focus of world attention. As time progressed, the science of quality control evolved with the technological advances of the human race.
The evolution and changes in the approach to quality control have occurred in four distinct phases according to two of the world’s most influential theorists on quality (Feigenbaum 1986; Juran 1991d). These phases are the craftsmanship era (Section 2.2), the inspection era (Section 2.3), the statistical era (Section 2.4) and the management era (Section 2.5). Garvin (1988:3) however, designates the management era as the quality assurance era and goes on to expand to a fifth phase which he calls the strategic management era (Section 2.6). According to Juran (1991d:18) these changes in approach to quality control have come about through steady evolution rather than dramatic breakthroughs with much overlap between these phases. The philosophies, principles and methods applied by the most influential quality leaders are discussed (Section 2. 7).
Today the global trend in quality control has emerged as a formal management function and is no longer only manufacturing oriented but embraces functions such as finance, marketing and service which is summarised in Section 2. 8.
THE CRAFTSMANSHIP ERA
Rissik (1947:24) summed up craftsmanship as man’s ability to control the quality of his artifacts by means of personal skill aided by artistic judgement with the criterion of quality being ultimately the fitness of the object created to the purpose it subserves.
In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries most manufacturing was performed by artisans and skilled craftsmen or by apprentices who were supervised by these master craftsmen. Tradesmen gained a reputation for quality products through skilled craftsmanship that was maintained over time by enforcing lengthy apprenticeship of newcomers to the trade. Pride of workmanship was vital. . Manufacturing, as we know it today, did not exist and products were produced in small volumes by these master craftsmen (Garvin 1988:3). The effect of these activities was that the craftsman was both the producer and inspector with the result that quality standards were self established. The decision as to whether the product conformed to customer requirements or not, was made by the craftsman who had a significant personal stake in meeting his customers’ needs for quality (Juran 1991d: 19).
The doom of craftsmanship was heralded when the principle of interchangeability of component parts finally succeeded in revolutionising the concept of product quality (Rissik 1947:24). The application of interchangeability was initially constrained by the concept of exactness in that interchangeable parts were manufactured to meet exact dimensions. Experience eventually showed this to be impracticable and that some degree of tolerance was required in the manufacture of interchangeable parts. The realisation of the need for tolerance limits introduced the gauging system which established the principal of inspection.
THE INSPECTION ERA
According to Rissik (1947:155) H.F. Dodge is generally recognised as the pioneer and an authority on inspection, defined inspection as follows:
Inspection is valuable as a measuring instrument when used solely for the purpose of separating the bad product from the good. But its greatest value and fundamental purpose is to provide information that will assist in controlling quality. Banks (1989:6) supports the notion that the complexity of manufacturing escalated in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century with increased industrialisation. The Industrial Revolution, according to Juran (1991d: 19) made possible an enormous expansion of manufacture and consumption of goods which created what is known today as the factory system. This mass production was made possible by widescale use of power-driven machinery. The attainment of quality became less dependent on craftsmanship and more a matter of design, construction and maintenance of the manufacturing process. The craftsmen became factory employees and the master craftsmen became the prod11ction supervisors (Juran 1991d:20). With the advancement of technology, the economic structure became more complex in that it became necessary to introduce dealers, wholesalers and retailers to the producer-consumer cycle (Hayes & Romig 1989:6). Businessmen and executives soon became aware of the need to classify the labour force into smaller functional units thereby decreasing the activities and increasing specialisation for each work centre or department. The proprietor and the consumer could no longer conduct business on a one for one basis without separate departments such as fmance, production and sales, for example, requiring involvement. A greater complexity in the overall industrial system started taking effect.
During the late nineteenth century the Taylor system of manufacturing was introduced in the United States of America which resulted in increased production and productivity without a corresponding increase in craftsmen (Juran 1991d:20). The craftsmen concept disappeared with Taylorism and so did quality achieved through skilled craftsmanship. According to Garvin (1988:5) Taylor gave the activity of inspection added legitimacy by singling it out as an assigned task. To be effective the inspector had to be a master craftsman and was responsible for the quality of finished work which had to suit him. Inspection thus remained the sole guarantor of quality which left in its wake a stream of poorer quality products in that quality was no longer being built into the product.
According to Juran (1991d) the early decades of the 20th century saw factory engineers being employed to develop new manufacturing processes. These newly engineered processes began to replace those that had been handed down by the craftsmen to keep pace with advances in technology and new product designs. As a result, advancements in managing quality did not keep up with those in technology. Quality had been delegated to the inspection departments with top management supporting investments needed to sustain and increase sales.
With increasing industrialisation vast numbers of unskilled industrial workers escalated. This necessitated production supervisors to organise a body of inspectors, representing the customer, to inspect the quality of finished products. In due course inspection became a significant feature of the industrial scene and many production industries introduced their own in-house inspection departments (Juran 1991d:20).
The main task of these inspection departments was to keep defective products from reaching customers by inspecting finished goods, usually separating the good from the bad (Juran 1991d:20). The assignment of responsibility for quality now became that of the inspection department and not the production department.
THE STATISTICAL ERA
Hayes and Romig (1989:6) claim that statistical methods were first applied to inspection problems as early as 1916 when the operating characteristic curve as a means of accepting quality, based on the law of probability, was introduced. Cumulative probability curves of the Poisson exponential distribution were prepared and published in 1926 in order to measure the probability of acceptance for these sampling plans. Tabulated individual and cumulated plans were prepared and published in 1949.
For some companies routine quality inspection was not good enough (Banks 1989:7). For example, an inspection engineering department was established at Western Electric’s Bell Telephone laboratories in the United States of America to address the problem of extracting the maximum amount of information from the minimum amount of inspection data generated about the quality of the products manufactured (Garvin 1988:6). The group included world quality experts such as Dodge, Romig, Shewart, Edwards and Juran who were largely responsible for creating what is known today as the discipline of statistical quality control (Garvin 1988:6).
This group defined various terms associated with acceptance sampling which are still used today, such as • consumer risk”, “producer risk”, “probability of acceptance •, • operating characteristic curves•, •tot tolerance percent defective•, “average total inspection•, “double sampling• and “a and B type risks”. By 1927 attribute sampling inspection tables, multiple sampling tables and average outgoing quality limit sampling tables were developed by this group. During the 1930’s an increased application of these sampling techniques was experienced in the United States of America and abroad (Banks 1989:8). This involved making the inspection departments of factories more efficient in that sampling inspection rather than 100 percent inspection was now provided.
According to Garvin (1988:6) Shewhart control charts were used to assist in controlling and improving quality during manufacture. The result is what today is called •statistical quality control•. The Shewhart control charts, however, did not attract serious attention until1931 when Shewhart published his book •Economic Control of Manufactured Product• giving the discipline of quality control a scientific footing for the first time.
Shewhart is supported by Deming (1986:310) and Garvin (1988:7) that variations exist in all manufacturing processes which can be understood by the application of sampling and probability analysis. These techniques taught manufacturers that work processes could be brought under control by defining when a process should be left alone and when intervention was necessary. Control limits, according to Deming (1988:337), defme the boundaries of random variation in completing a task with the need for intervention required when these limits were exceeded. Workers were thus given the ability to monitor their work and predict when they were about to exceed the control limits and possibly produce scrap.
According to Feigenbaum (1986: 15) it took until the 1940’s before statistical quality control was fully entrenched. This was necessitated by the tremendous mass production requirements of World War II. Juran (1991d:21) explains that the War Production Board of the United States of America decided to help industry by training companies in the tools of statistics covering probability theory, sampling theory and the Shewhart control chart. A few companies achieved spectacular gains with the Shewhart control chart inducing other companies to experiment with process control and sampling methods (Garvin 1988:11).
Statistical quality control declined in the United States of America after World War II due to the termination of defence contracts and the associated statistical quality control programs. According to Juran (199ld:23) most statistical quality control activities were judged to have failed the test of return on investment with the end result of widespread reduction in these techniques occurring. Inspection planning and the use of sampling tables, however, survived.
After the World War II statistical quality control in Japan was given a boost by the visit of Deming in 1950 (Deming 1986:3). The defeat of Japan by the Allied forces compelled Japan to choose a new direction with national goals having to be met by peaceful means through foreign trade. Japan had a reputation for poor quality which was a major obstacle in penetrating Western markets. A revolution in quality was recognised, by the Japanese, as a requirement to recapture these markets. Deming is widely recognised as having started the quality revolution in Japan (Deming 1986:2). Juran (1991d:23) reasons that the Japanese revolution in quality, using statistical techniques, was due to the shock in loosing the war; otherwise Japan would have seen no reason to change their approach to quality.
Since the late 1940’s Taguchi introduced several new statistical concepts, used by many Japanese manufacturers, with unprecedented success (Roy 1990:xi). According to Roy (1990:8) Taguchi built upon Deming’s observation that 85 percent of poor quality is attributable to the manufacturing process and only 15 percent to the worker. Taguchi developed a philosophy that any variation will cause a loss to society and employed statistical methods which included “parameter design”, “tolerance design”, “the quality loss function” and “design of experiments” using orthogonal arrays to support product and process design improvement (Banks 1989: 16). His philosophy was developed into what is known as the “Taguchi methods”, but it was not until the 1970’s that Taguchi promoted his work.
It took until 1980 before statistical quality control emerged as a strong force again in the United States of America. The term statistical process control (SPC) became the label of the movement. Deming was fmally taken seriously by Western industrialists (Gabor 1990:5).
In the 1960’s a new phase in quality control dawned. This was the quality management era that Feigenbaum (1986: 16) described as total quality control. Prior to the 1960’s, quality control activities were confmed to the shop floor or the production department. Total quality control advocated that all departments, not only manufacturing, had quality control responsibilities.
THE MANAGEMENT ERA
During the 1950’s quality control developed from sorting individual items and production lots to analysing data and establishing process controls. Managerial responsibility and systematic approaches enhanced quality control with attention being focused on design quality and reliability. These activities are confirmed by Juran and Feigenbaum with the appearance of their classic works, Juran’s Quality Control Handbook and Feigenbaum’s Quality Control, Principles, Practice and Administration (later revised and published as Total Quality Control).
Garvin (1988: 12) explained that during the 1950’s and 1960’s quality control evolved from a manufacturing to a management discipline. The techniques of quality developed beyond statistics involving four additional elements, namely: total quality control, zero defects, reliability engineering and quantifying the costs of quality, which will be discussed in the following sections.
CHJ\PTER 1: THE SCOPE J\NI> OBJECTIVES OF THE STUI>Y
1.2 THE RESURGENCE OF QUALITY
1.3 PROBLEM DEFINITION
1.4 STATEMENT OF THE RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
1.5 OBJECTIVES OF THE RESEARCH
1.6 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
1.7 EXPECTED CONTRIBUTION TO KNOWLEI>G
1.8 THE STRUCTURE AND ORGANISJ\TION OF THE THESIS
CHJ\PTER 2: THE HISTORY J\NI> EVO~UTION OF QUJ\~ITY
2.2 THE CRAFTSMJ\NSHIP ERA
2.3 THE INSPECTION ERA
2.4 THE STATISTICAL ERA
2.5 THE MANAGEMENT ERA
2.6 THE STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT ERA
2.7 QUALITY LEADERS: THEIR PHILOSOPHIES, PRINCIPLES AND METHODS
2.8 GLOBAL TRENDS AND FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS IN QUALITY
CHAPTER 3: PRODUCT AND SERVICE QUALITY
3.2 THE MEANING OF QUALITY
3.3 THE CORRELATES OF QUALITY
CHAPTER 4: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
4.2 THE CONSUMER QUESTIONNAIRE
4.3 THE RETAIL QUESTIONNAIRE
4.4 THE SERVICE QUESTIONNAIRE
4.5 THE MANUFACTURING QUESTIONNAIRE
4.6 THE STATISTICAL TESTS USED
4. 7 THE LEVEL OF SIGNIFICANCE
CHAPTER 5: THE RETAIL QUESTIONNAIRE
5.2 THE SURVEY SAMPLE
5.3 THE STATISTICAL RESULTS
CHAPTER 6: THE SERVICE QUESTIONNAIRE
6.2 THE SURVEY SAMPLE
6.3 THE STATISTICAL RESULTS
CHAPTER 7: THE CONSUMER QUESTIONNAIRE
7.2 THE SURVEY SAMPLE
7.3 THE STATISTICAL RESULTS
CHAPTER 8: THE MANUFACTURING QUESTIONNAIRE
8.2 THE SURVEY SAMPLE
8.3 THE STATISTICAL RESULTS
CHAPTER 9: FINAL CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
9.2 PRODUCT AND REPAIR SERVICE QUALITY REQUIREMENTS FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE COLOUR TELEVISION RETAILERS
9.3 PRODUCT AND SERVICE QUALITY REQUIREMENTS FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE TELEVISION SERVICE REPAIR ORGANISATIONS
9.4 PRODUCT AND REPAIR SERVICE QUALITY REQUIREMENTS FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE COLOUR TELEVISION CONSUMERS
9.5 THE RELEVANCE OF THE QUALITY CONTROL PROCEDURES EMPLOYED BY THE COLOUR TELEVISION MANUFACTURERS
9.6 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE RESEARCH
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