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MB0044 - Q1. Explain Quality Circles and its importance? Explain how CAD and CIM aid in reducing the concept to market time.

Answer:Quality Circles : Kaoru Ishikawa is generally considered to have promoted the concept of Quality Circles. It is well known that he is the originator of fishbone diagrams to identify the root cause of any problem. The causes for the existence of a problem are classified as pertaining to the material, processes or method or any factor that goes into production. The matter is further investigated and pursued till the exact cause is determined. Quality
circles use these principles in solving problems. The teams select projects selected on the above basis and implement actions to achieve improvement in the processes with a view to improve quality. Since these activities are carried out without affecting the regular day to day work and involve little involvement of the managers, team work gets reinforced and results in continuous improvement in methods and quality. The capital deployed is minimal, if at all, and therefore productivity is enhanced.

Quality circles are very efficient in incorporating low cost and nonintrusive methods of improving productivity and quality throughout the organisation. They seek to involve all persons who are actually involved in the production system and the information they elicit and bring about improvements highly cost effective. They unveil creativity and encourage team work and bring about improvements almost on a day to day basis. They do not bring about dramatic changes, but continuous incremental changes in a harmonious way. They also tend to encourage identification of possible failures and seek methods of preventing things going wrong.

Designers of products are increasingly depending on Computer Aided Design. The software aids in creating or modifying an existing design. The images can be maneuvered on the screen.
Images of different components can be seen as ‘assembled’; Sections taken and relative positions can be checked to great accuracies. Views can bee made seen from different angles and positions, so that the visualization process of the designed component/product helps the designer to suggest alternatives to the customer and the production department. The drawings can be sent via intranet or internet to the concerned persons and their opinions taken. Corrections and incorporations can be made very quickly. The database can be prepared, updated continuously and their access to executive. The efficiency of designers increases by nearly 5 times The software can generate the volume, weights of components as also other engineering parameters like centre of gravity, deflections under estimated loads, and various other design parameters on complicate forms – either single components or assemblies Laborious mechanical drawings need not be drawn nor complicated calculations done. This aids in reducing the time required making a design or modifying a product and thus concept market period gets drastically cut.
Integration occurs when a broad range of manufacturing and supporting activities are linked. Activities include engineering design, production planning, shop control, order processing, material control, distribution etc. Information flow across all functions takes place with the help of computers. Transmission, processing, distribution and feed back happen almost in real time so that intended activities are conducted rapidly. This process helps in rapid production and also reduce indirect costs. As response times decrease, customer satisfaction increases resulting in better business. CIM helps in avoiding accumulation of materials resulting in better throughput and better utilization of space. Bar coded labels that accompany materials contain instructions for processing them which are read by sensing devices and display the status on monitors. This information is available to all concerned personnel responsible in planning, marketing etc. so that they will be aware of the status of any order and if expediting is needed to meet deadlines, and they will be able to seek intervention. Identifying shortages, ensuring faster deliveries becomes easy with CIM.

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