Rethinking Quality Control: Introducing Deming’s Points

In manufacturing, quality control plays a vital role in ensuring that the products we make meet the highest standards. This is particularly true in the electronics industry, where even the most minor defect can lead to significant, even catastrophic consequences. To address this, we’ve been exploring the work of Dr. W. Edwards Deming and his 14 Points of Management, a revolutionary approach to quality control that has transformed how companies think about manufacturing since the 1940’s.

Understanding Deming’s Points

Deming’s approach to quality control is rooted in the idea of building quality into the product from the start. Rather than relying on massive inspections and costly rework, Deming believed that quality should be integrated into every stage of the manufacturing process. This means that the responsibility for quality lies not only with the inspectors but with everyone involved in the production process.

By embracing this philosophy, companies can eliminate the need for extensive inspections and rework, saving time and money. This shift in mindset allows manufacturers to focus on prevention rather than correction, leading to higher customer satisfaction and improved overall efficiency.

Deming’s 14 Points, as published by The Deming Institute, are:

1. Create constancy of purpose toward improvement of product and service, with the aim to become competitive and to stay in business, and to provide jobs.

2. Adopt the new philosophy. We are in a new economic age. Western management must awaken to the challenge, must learn their responsibilities, and take on leadership for change.

3. Cease dependence on inspection to achieve quality. Eliminate the need for inspection on a mass basis by building quality into the product in the first place.

4. End the practice of awarding business on the basis of price tag. Instead, minimize total cost. Move toward a single supplier for any one item, on a long-term relationship of loyalty and trust.

5. Improve constantly and forever the system of production and service, to improve quality and productivity, and thus constantly decrease costs.

6. Institute training on the job.

7. Institute leadership. The aim of supervision should be to help people and machines and gadgets to do a better job. Supervision of management is in need of overhaul, as well as supervision of production workers.

8. Drive out fear, so that everyone may work effectively for the company.

9. Break down barriers between departments. People in research, design, sales, and production must work as a team, to foresee problems of production and in use that may be encountered with the product or service.

10. Eliminate slogans, exhortations, and targets for the work force asking for zero defects and new levels of productivity. Such exhortations only create adversarial relationships, as the bulk of the causes of low quality and low productivity belong to the system and thus lie beyond the power of the work force.

11a. Eliminate work standards (quotas) on the factory floor. Substitute leadership.

11b. Eliminate management by objective. Eliminate management by numbers, numerical goals. Substitute leadership.

12a. Remove barriers that rob the hourly worker of his right to pride of workmanship. The responsibility of supervisors must be changed from sheer numbers to quality.

12b. Remove barriers that rob people in management and in engineering of their right to pride of workmanship. This means, inter alia, abolishment of the annual or merit rating and of management by objective.

13. Institute a vigorous program of education and self-improvement.

14. Put everybody in the company to work to accomplish the transformation. The transformation is everybody’s job.

Deming’s Impact on Electronics Manufacturing

Deming’s ideas can have a profound impact on what we do here at Amtech in electronics manufacturing. Many companies have adopted his principles and seen remarkable improvements in their operations. For example, Motorola implemented Deming’s Points and saw a significant reduction in defects and an increase in customer satisfaction.

Another success story comes from Sony, who embraced Deming’s philosophy and transformed its manufacturing processes, resulting in higher-quality products and improved profitability. At Amtech, we’re excited to continue learning and exploring how Deming’s 14 Points can continue to shift ways we think and act when it comes to quality control.

Wrapping It Up

Deming’s 14 Points of Management offer a focused approach to quality control in electronics manufacturing. By building quality into the product from the start and eliminating the need for massive inspections and rework, we can achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction and improved overall efficiency – all markers of business headed in the right direction.

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