Integrated quality management whitin a commercial company

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1- GENERALITIES
Quality cannot be assured only by verification. However strict, verification leads only to the separation of good products from those that do not meet the quality requirements. The control itself of the product lots does not improve the quality of a product, especially since the deficiencies that are detected can be due to the problems of the manufacture, but also the deficiencies in the design, supply, sale, transport etc. Therefore, the entire production organization must be involved in the production of quality products.
For this purpose, organizational methods have been adopted that ensure the integration of all the factors that influence the quality of the product or service offered by a company. Quality control thus becomes part of a larger and more complex system.
The development of large-scale production and international trade that has characterized the last hundred years has been accompanied by five stages of the organization of activities regarding the quality of the goods produced. Of course, these stages are not clearly separated, but they are interposed, and the previous stages are found in a certain form in the following stages, which integrate them.
The five organizing methods used by the manufacturing companies were the following:
-  quality inspection;
-  quality control by statistical methods;
-  the quality assurance system;
-  the quality management system;
-  total quality management (TQM).
The quality inspection, presented above, appeared at the beginning of the twentieth century, related to Taylor's principles of work organization. The division of labor has led to the separation of those who execute from those who control.
The emphasis was on the verification of the finished product, on the identification and separation of the inappropriate products and not on the control of the manufacturing process that is the main source of the non-conformities. The inspection therefore had a passive role in eliminating non-compliant products. The degree of involvement in personnel quality problems was low, with only team leaders and quality inspectors involved.
Quality control through statistical methods appeared and developed in the 3 - 5 decades of the 20th century, following the works of Shewart, Deming and Juran. Methods of statistical control, survey control were used, which led to the reduction of control costs. The key concept was AQL, as defined in previous chapters. Following the control, it was acted to regulate the process of obtaining the product, according to a cycle in four phases: planning, execution, verification, action.
In this case, too, the level of involvement of the personnel was reduced, at the level of the technical controllers, the engineers, the quality specialists.
The quality assurance system appeared in the US in the 6th century, its promoter being J. M. Juran. Within the system, the emphasis is placed on the prevention of defects through the contribution of all compartments with attributions in the field of quality, from the entire chain from design to customer.
Quality assurance is the set of planned and systematic actions required to give confidence that a product or service will meet the specified quality conditions.
So while quality refers to a particular product and at some point in time, quality assurance refers to the ability of the manufacturer itself to produce goods of a certain qualitative level.
It defines as a quality system the set of organizational structures, responsibilities, procedures, processes and resources that aim to ensure quality.
Component actions of quality assurance involve all stages of product realization, such as planning / design, realization, control, optimization of product realization under the required quality conditions, sales, technical assistance, maintenance, end-of-life etc. . Through the quality assurance system, quality planning and implementation becomes the responsibility of all employees of the organization.
The concept of quality assurance means two important tasks, namely:
-  early determination of non-conformities and undertaking corrective actions through a verification function performed by specialized personnel; -  the prevention of potential deviations and failures, attribution of the management of the organization that through the designated personnel selects, applies, supervises the application of the quality assurance system and analyzes the economic efficiency of the adopted system. An adequate quality assurance system chosen and applied leads not only to the occasional realization of the quality products but also to the repeatability of the realization, by correlating the quality problems from all stages of the product life and cycle. The realization of the quality assurance system is materialized, on an organizational level within the company, by: Establishing the necessary documents for the activities that compete to produce products at the established quality level, documents that establish what, how, when, with what and by whom should be done, the responsibility of all involved, the verification of the actions taken and the application of the necessary corrections. The main documents of the quality system are the quality manual and the procedures of the system elements. Essentially, the quality manual establishes how to coordinate the internal factors involved in the quality achievement, and the procedures are the directives for the personnel involved in performing the actions to perform the quality functions. Conducting periodic audits in order to analyze the way of observing the adopted quality system, its efficiency, the need for some changes. The methods applied for quality assurance, the related organization and their continuous improvement are quality management.
The quality assurance system has been subject to the international standards in the ISO 9000 family, which were also adopted in the Romanian standardization. In the years 2000-2001, the ISO 9000 standards appeared in the new version which refers to the quality management system, also taken over in the Romanian standardization.
The quality management system makes the transition from the quality assurance system to the total quality management (TQM). According to ISO 9000: 2000 the quality management system and the methods of excellence, ie TQM, are based on common principles.
The objective of quality management, as part of the general management of the enterprise, is to improve the performance of the enterprise, with the quality policy oriented towards continuous improvement.


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