CoQ Tradeoffs in Manufacturing Process Improvement and Inspection Strategy Selection: A Case Study of Welded Automotive Assemblies
In today's highly competitive automotive markets manufacturers must provide high quality products to survive. Manufacturers can achieve higher levels of quality by changing or improving their manufacturing process and/or by product inspection where many strategies with different cost implications are often available. Cost of Quality (CoQ) reconciles the competing objectives of quality maximization and cost minimization and serves as a useful framework for comparing available manufacturing process and inspection alternatives. In this paper, an analytic CoQ framework is discussed and some key findings are demonstrated using a set of basic inspection strategy scenarios. A case of a welded automotive assembly is chosen to explore the CoQ tradeoffs in inspection strategy selection and the value of welding process improvement. In the assembly process, many individual components are welded in series and each weld is inspected for quality.