Posted: August 5th, 2022
As quality control manager for this candy company, it is important to make sure the manufacturing process is resulting in a consistent product with little weight variation. The mean weight of the package should be 12 ounces. A control chart can be used to monitor how production is running as long as the process is already stable. The mean and the standard deviation of the weight limits must be constant (Sharpe et al., 2019). Upper and lower control limits will be established to help management understand when there are outliers beyond the limits and when intervention should take place.
Variation can occur due to human error or machine error. A machine that is calibrated incorrectly may cause higher or lower amounts of ingredients to be added to the candy and could cause variation. To implement a quality control process, standard recipes should be established, machines should be calibrated on a weekly basis (or more frequently if control charts indicate a trend issue), and checkweighers should be utilized.
Checkweighers are a valuable tool that can assist with manufacturing quality control. Checkweighers can count weight-based items, check item density or volume, weigh items with varying weights, and check for any missing instructions or pamphlets (Hill, 2016). If this candy company manufactures boxes of chocolates with different flavors, having the leaflet explaining the flavors in the package is important. Usage of checkweighers can optimize the manufacturing process and make it more efficient by ensuring the company avoids fines from underfilling, prevents human error, minimizes the number of false rejects, and protects the company’s reputation (Hill, 2016). Products that do not meet specification limits as established on the checkweigher will be rejected.
In addition to equipment that will assist with identifying products outside of the specification limits, management staff should be trained in Lean Six Sigma. Lean Six Sigma methodology works to enhance process efficiency and eliminate the number of defects the process produces. By incorporating Lean principles that focus on process efficiency and Six Sigma concepts that focus on higher quality finished products, company efficiency and customer satisfaction will improve in the long run (Lazzari, 2018).
The Fair Packaging and Labeling Act requires packages of consumer commodities to have labels stating the quantity and weights of items to prevent unfair or deceptive business packaging and labeling (Federal Trade Commission, n.d.). Penalties for mislabeling a package may result in a $1,000 fine or the first offense or up to a year in federal prison while subsequent violations may result in a felony conviction, up to three years in prison, and/or a maximum fine of $10,000 (Yamato Americas, 2019). As such, it is important that the manufacturing process does not create liability for the candy company. The Maximum Allowable Variation for a 12-ounce product is 9/16 of an ounce (National Institute of Standards and Technology, 2020). To protect the company from fines and maximize efficiency, our upper specification limit for the checkweighers should be 12.5625 and our lower limit should be 11.4375.
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