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Unique Approach To Total Quality Management In A Quality Planning And Control Laboratory

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.455.1 - 2.455.5



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Paper Authors

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Karen E. Schmahl

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3657


Karen E. Schmahl Ph.D., P.E. Miami University, Oxford, Ohio

In recent years, Total Quality Management tools and principles have been increasingly introduced into engineering curriculum. This paper describes a unique approach to integrating TQM in the laboratory of a Quality Planning and Control course which had previously focused solely on statistical control of quality and precision linear measurement. The new approach includes a team building component, Lab Development Project and TQM Follow-up Project. In the Lab Development Project, the students are customers of each other and must improve their product, a laboratory exercise, based on other students feedback. The TQM Follow-up Project is a means for the students to further apply the concepts and tools of Total Quality Management to analyze and recommend improvements to a common process.


In the Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Management programs at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, the Quality Planning and Control Course (EGR 334) is a required course in the junior year of study. For many years, the content of the EGR 334 had focused on statistical control of processes and the use of linear measurement tools. A relatively recent addition to the course content is a study of TQM principles and tools.

When TQM had been introduced to the course, it was in the form of a section added at the end. The Memory Jogger II1 and selected readings were used to supplement the required course textbook.2 The basic TQM principles of customer focus, continuous improvement, work-as-a- process, and teamwork were discussed in class. In-class exercises were performed using basic TQM tools.3,4 While students appeared to learn the material in the classroom setting, a more hands-on approach was desired to reinforce the concepts. An expansion of the objectives of the laboratory of the course was looked at as a means to provide such an applied approach.

The existing laboratory accomplished two objectives: 1) providing the students with a minimum level of competency on a variety of measurement tools and 2) reinforcing classroom theory. While two hours per week in the fifteen week semester were allocated only five, two hour lab sessions were actually used for laboratory exercises. (The remainder were replaced with one hour lectures.) Two new pieces of laboratory equipment had been acquired but lab exercises had not yet been developed for them. The timing was very appropriate for developing a completely new approach to the laboratory incorporating the new equipment as well as TQM concepts.

In developing the new laboratory approach it was important to add the TQM emphasis (keeping the existing objectives) while staying within the time available. Six lectures at the end of the semester had been dedicated to TQM principles and tools not covered in the traditional statistical quality control course. By spreading out the remaining course content, these six lecture hours

Schmahl, K. E. (1997, June), Unique Approach To Total Quality Management In A Quality Planning And Control Laboratory Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6852

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