An implementation framework for statistical process control in small to medium-sized enterprises: A South African context

Appollis, Logan-Lee Miche (2019-12)

Thesis (MEng)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: A fundamental trait of our everyday environment is that no subsequent event is precisely repeatable. Despite the best effort of manufacturing entities, the probability is low that two consecutive batches of material will have exactly the same characteristics. Variation is inherent to system-based processes as a combination of people, materials, methods, machines and the environment, can contribute to a natural randomness in processes. The implementation of Statistical Process Control (SPC) is driven by the desire to be more proactive as the reactiveness of an inspection-based quality control system is unreliable, costly and time-consuming. SPC is commonly overlooked due to a lack of awareness of the potential benefits and it commonly fails due to an unclear objective and ill-constructed implementation plan. This study is an intervention which surveys existing SPC implementation publications. The study identifies strengths and weaknesses of existing published literature, highlighting key areas of SPC implementation. The study further focuses on the organisational and methodological critical success factors (CSFs), which would be relevant to South African small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), utilising the identified CSFs and deficiencies to develop a framework for the sustainable and effective implementation of SPC in manufacturing SMEs. The research methodology consists of three phases, which are the literature review, framework development and the validation of the framework as a case study using participatory action research. The literature survey was performed as a random literature survey coupled with a systematic literature review of SPC implementation frameworks. The research branches into implementation strategies and methodologies used for other continuous improvement initiatives. According to the reviewed frameworks the most commonly identified gaps are a lack of focus on: (1) measurement system capability; (2) process prioritisation; (3) identification of critical to quality characteristics; (4) training and education; (5) validation of the framework; (6) step-by-step procedure with a logical flow and (7) problem-solving. A total of 81% of the articles mentioned training and education as a critical success factor, and 69% of the same reviewed articles also mentioned management commitment as a critical success factor, in contrast to the 13% which mentioned statistical thinking. This study contributes to the domain of quality management and continuous improvement by addressing a tangible issue in a specific manufacturing organisation in which a previous attempt on implementing SPC failed. The study addresses the lack of substance, which current literature offers regarding strategic approaches on the implementation of SPC in smaller organisations with limited resources.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: 'n Kern eienskap van ons alledaagse omgewing is dat geen opeenvolgende gebeurtenis, presies herhaalbaar is nie. Ten spyte van vervaardigingsentiteite se beste poging, is die waarskynlikheid laag dat twee opeenvolgende produkte presies dieselfde eienskappe sal hê. Variasie is eie aan stelselgebaseerde prosesse omdat 'n kombinasie van mense, materiale, metodes, masjiene en die omgewing moontlik kan bydra tot ‘n natuurlike variasie. Die implementering van Statistiese Prosesbeheer word aangedryf deur die begeerte om meer proaktief te wees aangesien die reaktiwiteit van 'n inspeksiegebaseerde kwaliteitsbeheerstelsel onbetroubaar, duur en tydrowend is. Statistiese Prosesbeheer word oor die hoof gesien weens 'n gebrek aan die bewustheid van potensiële voordele, en dit misluk as gevolg van 'n onduidelike en swak implementeringsplan. Hierdie studie evaluaeer bestaande publikasies rakend die implementering van statistiese prosesbeheer. Die studie beoog om sterk punte en swakpunte van bestaande gepubliseerde literatuur te identifiseer en om kern aspekte rakend die implementering van statistiese prosesbeheer uit te lig. Die studie fokus verder op organisatoriese en metodologiese kritiese suksesfaktore, wat van toepassing kan wees op Suid Afrikaanse klein tot mediumgrootte ondernemings (KMOs), en gebruik die geïdentifiseerde kern aspekte en swakpunte om 'n raamwerk te ontwikkel vir die volhoubare en doeltreffende implementering van statistiese prosebeheer vir KMOs. Die navorsingsmetodologie bestaan uit drie fases, naamlik die literatuuroorsig, raamwerkontwikkeling en die evaluaering van die raamwerk as 'n gevallestudie deur gebruik te maak van aksienavorsing. Die literatuuropname is uitgevoer as 'n ongestruktureerde literatuuroorsig, tesame met 'n sistematiese literatuurooorsig van implementeringsraamwerke. Die navorsing behandel ook implementeringstrategieë en metodologieë van ander deurlopende verbeteringsinisiatiewe. Volgens die hersiene raamwerke is die algemeenste geïdentifiseerde tekortkoming 'n gebrek aan fokus op: (1) metingstelselvermoë; (2) prioritisering van prosesse; (3) identifisering van kritiese kwaliteitskenmerke; (4) opleiding; (5) validering van die raamwerk; (6) n’ stap-vir-stap prosedure met 'n logiese vloei en (7) probleemoplossing. Altesaam 81% van die artikels noem opleiding as 'n kritiese suksesfaktor, waar 69% van die artikels bestuurstoewyding genoem het, in teenstelling met die 13% wat statistiese denkwyse noem. Hierdie studie dra by tot die gebied van kwaliteitsbestuur en deurlopende verbetering deur 'n werklike probleem in 'n spesifieke vervaardigingsorganisasie aan te spreek, weens n mislukking met vorige pogings. Die studie behandel die gebrek aan inhoud wat deur bestaande literatuur verskaf word, rakend strategiese benaderings tot die implementering van die statisties proses beheer in KMOs met beperkte hulpbronne.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/107158
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