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Process measurements and controls set up with TQM

Total quality management (TQM) is a manufacturing process that helps companies improve their current manufacturing processes. TQM helps companies improve the quality of their products and continually fix things within the company that can help it receive positive customer feedback. There are 4 main categories that make up the TQM process measurements:

  • Plan
  • Do
  • Check
  • Act
This is known as the PDCA cycle. During the planning phase, the problems within the manufacturing plant are identified and addressed. Data will be collected and all machinery will be inspected to find out what is the root cause of problems. The doing phase consists of creating a solution for the problem. You will need to create measurement controls that gauge the effectiveness of the solution. The third phase, known as the checking phase is when the results of the doing phase will be compared to the previous results. The final phase, known as the acting phase is when the results will be documented and recommendations are made for future problems to be addressed within the next PDCA cycle.

The main goal of the PDCA cycle is to start producing products that are free from any defects and to use less waste during the manufacturing process. The products that are delivered to the customers will satisfy their needs and the company will save money. The only way to have a successful PDCA cycle is to establish proper process measurements and controls.

One of the biggest tools companies use with TQM is called process mapping. Process mapping helps a company define exactly how the manufacturing process works. It will clearly define what individuals are in charge of certain things, what standard they need to be held to, and how the success of the business is based on this map. Process mapping is one of the best ways to start identifying problems that exist within the company. It clearly explains all the different aspects of the manufacturing plant and what takes place with each area. This breakdown of responsibilities and tasks can give you insight as to where the problems are and how you can fix them.

Flowcharts are commonly used with TQM to understand exactly how the process works. It is a small part of process mapping, but companies can expand it into something bigger. The flowcharts can help you see exactly what steps are involved in the manufacturing process. This will help you understand why the process works the way it does and where the problems and weaknesses are. You will also be able to see if there are unnecessary steps that can be avoided or if there is duplication in the manufacturing process.

The Pareto chart is another TQM process measurement control. The Pareto chart will identify all the defects in the manufacturing process. It will identify all the common defects and help you find out what is causing them. A Pareto chart looks like a plot chart or a bar graph. You can use different data to plot out the common problems. For example, if you are manufacturing toothbrushes and you want to investigate why they keep breaking, you can group your data as follows:

  • The bristles are loose

  • The handle is to thin

  • The plastic is not sturdy enough to withstand the pressure

  • Other

After you have the data, you will plot it on the chart according to its frequency. The end result will help you answer some questions as to what it causing the problem and what issues are leading to the problems. You will be able to identify where you need to focus more time so you can avoid future problems.

The final process measurement control is known as the force field analysis. This is used to help you identify what forces are causing the problem. These forces could be hindering the entire production process and the analysis will help you make changes to overcome the problems. The force field analysis will also help you determine what needs to be changed and how you can go about making those changes.

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