Custom Circuitry International

By Kyper, Eric; Schimmoeller, Leon | Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies, July 2014 | Go to article overview

Custom Circuitry International


Kyper, Eric, Schimmoeller, Leon, Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies


CASE DESCRIPTION

The primary subject matter of this case concerns an audit of manufacturing defects for a manufacturer of printed circuit boards. Secondary issues examined include process analysis and statistical quality control. The case has a difficulty level of six, appropriate for first year graduate students. The case is designed to be taught in two class hours and is expected to require six to eight hours of outside preparation by students.

CASE SYNOPSIS

This case presents evidence of manufacturing quality control problems for a maker of printed circuit boards. The objective is for students to identify the primary sources of variation in quality and recommend solutions. The observations provided below (including defect categories, defect costs, production flow charts, control chart data, and range/proportion data) are sufficient to critically analyze the current process and enable one to present a revised production process.

INTRODUCTION

Custom Circuitry International (CCI) manufactures custom printed circuit boards. Susan Banning is the current production manager. She has been with CCI for 18 years and has held a variety of positions. Historically high quality products have been CCI's competitive advantage. However, lately Susan has been under increasing pressure from Howard Anderson, the sales manager, regarding sporadic outbursts of customer complaints and returns. Susan has promised Howard she will give these issues her full and immediate attention. As one of Susan's team leaders you are tasked with investigating production rejects and rework, and the poor results of efforts to remain within quality targets. The general manager Tom Weldin knows these issues can lead to loss of revenue, declining profit margins, loss of market share, etc. Your boss Ms. Banning has invited you to attend a meeting with the production shift leaders, and the quality assurance manager (Alejandro Martinez) to discuss the problem. Alejandro assures everyone in the meeting that the problem is under investigation, and that he will have a report within the week.

A week later, Alejandro presents the following summary of the defects found at inspection during the last 5 days. 1,276 defects were found in the boards tested. Alejandro also presents control chart data for the last 5 days (table 2) and informs us the standard error for control data is 0.038. The types of defects were:

Table 1: Breakdown of defects by category

Defect Category                         Occurrences   Percent

Wrong component                                217       17%
Components not adhering                        146       12%
Excess adhesive                                 64        5%
Misplaced transistors                          600       47%
Wrong board dimension                          143       11%
Improperly positioned mounting holes            14        1%
Circuitry problems on final test                92        7%

Control Chart Data

Table 2: Final inspection data for last 5 days

Sample #   Size   Defects

1           50         4
2           50         6
3           50         2
4           50         5
5           50         5
6           50         7
7           50         7
8           50         8
9           50         3
10          50         5
11          50         7
12          50         1
13          50         5
14          50         4
15          50         3
16          50         2
17          50         7
18          50         5
19          50         2
20          50         3
21          50         1
22          50         4
23          50         6
24          50         4
25          50         2
26          50         3
27          50         5
28          50         2
29          50         1
30          50         2
31          50         4
32          50         3
33          50         5
34          50         8
35          50         3
36          50         5
37          50         2
38          50         1
39          50         3
40          50         3
41          50         3
42          50         5
43          50         2
44          50         4
45          50         6
46          50         5
47          50         4
48          50         4
49          50         6
50          50         3

Upon request from Susan Banning, Alejandro later analyzed a sample of each defect type, and isolated the following factors:

Wrong component: Stock keeping unit (SKU) code assignment, Uniform product code (UPC) label placement, recording error, delivery error. …

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