Natalie examines the X and R charts developed from the data stored in Harnswell.xls from Phase 2. The R chart indicates that the process is in control, but the chart X t reveals that the mean for batch 17 is outside the LCL. This immediately gives her cause for concern because low values for the roller diameter could mean that parts have to be scrapped. Natalie goes to see Jim Murante, the shop foreman, to try to find out what had happened to batch 17. Jim looks up the production records to determine when this batch was produced. “Aha!” he exclaims. “I think I’ve got the answer! This batch was produced on that really-cold morning we had last month. I’ve been after Mr. Harnswell for a long time to let us install an automatic thermostat here in the shop so that the place doesn’t feel so cold when we get here in the morning. All he ever tells me is that people aren’t as tough as they used to be.”
Natalie is almost in shock. She realizes that what happened is that, rather than standing idle until the environment and the equipment warmed to acceptable temperatures, the machinist opted to manufacture parts that might have to be scrapped. In fact, Natalie recalls that a major problem occurred on that same day, when several other expensive parts had to be scrapped. Natalie says to Jim, “We just have to do something. We can’t let this go on now that we know what problems it is potentially causing.” Natalie and Jim decide to take enough money out of petty cash to get the thermostat without having to fill out a requisition requiring Mr. Harnswell’s signature. They install the thermostat and set the heating control so that the heat turns on a half hour before the shop opens each morning.
- What should Natalie do now concerning the cam roller data? Explain.
b. Explain how the actions of Natalie and Jim to avoid this particular problem in the future have resulted in quality improvement.
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