Quality System Design for Fabrication of Forestry Equipment: a Four-Phase Empirical Development Method

No Thumbnail Available
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Helsinki University of Technology | Diplomityö
Checking the digitized thesis and permission for publishing
Instructions for the author
Degree programme
97 + app. 20
The research is aligned with an effort to design and implement a company-wide quality management and assurance system. The case company is a medium-size manufacturer of forestry equipment located in the state of Michigan in the United States. The research has two primary objectives. The first, a practice-oriented, objective is to design and implement sound quality procedures for the machine shop in order to enhance operational quality and controllability in the case company. The second, a methodological, objective is to develop and find positive empirical proof for a systematic quality systems development method that would help in preventing commonly experienced development failures. In the beginning, the applicability of available models for a quality system are discussed from the viewpoint of the case company. Thereafter, a general four-phase quality systems development method is suggested. The method is comprised of a check cycle and implementation stage. The check cycle assists in making consistent implementation plans by checking organizational readiness for change, the costs of quality, and the status of the quality system. The research applies and tests the four-phase method in the context of developing a quality system for the case company. Specifically, the research is concerned with the quality of machine shop operations. A survey on costs of quality and initial quality audit as per the ISO 9001 quality standard reveal that the machine shop, much alike the entire company, is at a very low level in quality orientation. In order to gain detailed evidence of the quality status of the machining operations, a capability study involving one of the NC-lathes is initiated. The study gives useful insights to the different sources of variation in the shop. It becomes evident that product quality would suffer remarkably without skilled machine operators. Two alternatives are presented to assure and improve quality in the machine shop operations. The first is a major investment to renew machinery. The second is the implementation of formal inspection, calibration, and audit procedures as per ISO 9001. After evaluation of the options, it becomes evident that the best approach is to design and implement adequate quality assurance procedures in the machine shop. The recommended calibration and audit programs are discussed in more detail. Finally, a synthesis is made upon the applicability and feasibility of the four-phase quality systems development method both in the case company and more generally.
Lillrank, Paul
Thesis advisor
Lännenpää, Kimmo
Other note