Article: Araby, Mahmoud, et al. “Integrating Advanced Quality Techniques to Improve the Quality of Glass Tubes: A Case Study.” International Proceedings of Economics Development and Research, vol. 59, no. 38, 2013, pp. 183-189.
In their case study, “Integrating Advanced Quality Techniques to Improve the Quality of Glass Tubes,” Araby et al. integrate three quality techniques to improve the quality of fluorescent glass tubes manufactured in a medium-sized plant- total quality management, six-sigma, and lean methodologies. The authors commence the article by supporting the use of the three techniques in quality management, arguing that unlike traditional quality philosophies, the former focuses more on the monitoring of production yield and operational costs (Araby et al. 183). While the authors also briefly discuss the other two quality techniques, they mainly focus on integrating six sigma in the engineering process of the glass tubes.
The first stage in which the authors integrate the six-sigma technique is the evaluation phase. Most notably, the authors suggest using the SIPOC diagram to evaluate the whole process involved in the engineering system of fluorescent glass tubes. Most notably, the evaluation phase in this context entails determining the suppliers, inputs, processes, outputs, and end customers of the product.
The authors then discuss the measuring phase of the engineering system for the fluorescent glass tubes. According to the scholars, the measurement stage of the process entails gathering measurements that can help predict defects in the bulbs. In this context, some measurements, such as overall length, base length, and fixed collar in the bulb’s diameter, are identified as potential measures that can be used to predict defects in the engineering process. Arguably, the use of the various measures in the engineering system in the case study is purposed to identify areas that can be improved to enhance the quality of the fluorescent glass tubes.
The authors then discuss the designing phase of the engineering system of the tubes. At this stage, the authors emphasize the need to analyze the initial machine setting to help develop improvements in the design of tubes that would be of higher quality and fewer defects. Some of the machine settings proposed by Araby et al. for analysis and subsequent use in designing include the guide plate, head roller, heating burner, hold roller, neck guide, and cutting burner. In the author’s view, analyzing the different components of the machine would facilitate improvements of the engineering system, such as replacement of the neck guide with higher quality material, to promote the designing of quality glass tubes.
The fourth process of the engineering system explored by the authors is the control phase. At this stage, the scholars propose the use of x-bars and s control charts to visualize the changes that were made in the engineering system (Araby et al. 187). From the information provided in the control phase, it is evident that the authors propose routine controls to promote the quality of the glass tube engineering system. Most notably, the authors recommend changing the neck guide of the machine every three months, adjusting the line speed when it stops, and conducting periodic maintenance of the system to ensure that any component affected by frequent production does not affect the quality of the final product.
In summary, the article by Araby et al. explores the evaluation, design, measure, and control of the quality of the glass tubes engineering system using the six-sigma, lean, and total quality management technique. Notably, the authors use the six-sigma technique to examine and recommend appropriate practices in the four phases of the engineering system. The authors also recommend frequent control of the engineering system to prevent defects of the final product.