Quality Engineering and Management

Course Number: ENGRG 7820
Course Name: Quality Engineering and Management (Online)
Course Description:    This course provides practical tools for planning and completing quality improvement projects.  The first part of the course deals with an introduction to quality management philosophies, tools, and approaches.  The second part (about 70%) of the course is devoted to the Six-Sigma (SS) philosophy, roadmap, tools, and techniques of planning and executing quality improvement projects.  The course concludes with the application of the Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) approach to design or improve products and processes.
Prerequisites:    MATH 4030 or ENGRG 6050, or consent of instructor
Level: Graduate
Credits: 3
Format: Online
Program: Master of Science in Engineering
Master of Science in Integrated Supply Chain Management

Registration Instructions

NOTE: The information below is representative of the course and is subject to change.  The specific details of the course will be available in the Desire2Learn course instance for the course in which a student registers.

Additional Information

Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this course, you should be able to

  • Select and use rational sampling, conduct reliability tests and analyze data.
  • Analyze the measurement system.
  • Apply SPC methods to improve quality of products and services.
  • Compute process capabilities.
  • Utilize software for data representation, statistical analysis, confidence interval estimation, test of hypothesis, probability plotting, basic and advanced quality tools, ANOVA, ANOM, design of experiments, regression analysis, and other applications.
  • Analyze statistically designed experiments necessary to improve products and processes.
  • Compare and appreciate the contributions of W. Edwards Deming, Joseph Juran, Philip Crosby, A. V. Feigenbaum, and Kaoru Ishikawa.
  • Explain that the quality movement has influenced not only product and service improvements, but the way in which organizations are managed.
  • Describe the requirements for building and sustaining performance excellence.
  • Participate in and conduct Six Sigma quality improvement projects.
  • Assist an organization in preparing and applying for any one of the numerous quality awards.
  • Understand quality engineering methods and tools.
  • Apply quality engineering methods and tools to improve products and processes.
  • Develop a strategic plan for quality using a team approach, taking into account the voice of the customer and the market.
  • Identify and compare product quality dimensions for both products and services.
  • Train other personnel in the uses of quality engineering tools and techniques.
  • Describe a workforce management approach necessary to build a high performance workplace and maintain an environment for quality excellence.
  • Describe basic quality system requirements and the relevant national and international standards for a quality system. Understand the ISO 9000:2000 family of standards, assist in preparing the quality documents at any level of the tier, conduct an internal quality audit, and prepare for an external audit.
  • Describe the role that quality plays in each component of a manufacturing firm’s production and business support systems and explain how they are linked together as a system of processes to support organizational objectives.

Unit Descriptions

Unit 1: The Principles of Quality and Performance Excellence
Webster's definition of quality is vague and simplistic. "(Quality is) that which makes something what it is; characteristic element." The ANSI/ASQC A3-1978, Quality Systems Terminology defines quality as “the totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bears on its ability to satisfy given needs.” This definition draws heavily on the product and user definitions and is driven by the need to create satisfied customers. By the end of the 1980s, many organizations had begun using a simpler, yet powerful, customer definition of quality that remains popular today: Quality is meeting or exceeding customer expectations.

However, quality can be a confusing concept, partly because people view quality subjectively and in relation to differing criteria based on their individual roles in the production-marketing value chain. In addition, the meaning of quality continues to evolve as the quality profession grows and matures. No single definition is adequate because customer needs are constantly changing and because quality is "situational" -- e.g. a good design for one purpose, and in the eyes of one set of customers, may represent a poor design for another use or another set of customers. Reliance on a single definition of quality is frequently a source of problems.

Quality concerns of each major function within a manufacturing system vary. Thus, each major function contributes to total quality in various ways, as follows:

  • Marketing and Sales - Effective market research and solicitation of customer feedback are necessary for developing quality products.
  • Product Design and Process Engineering – Here, designers and technicians must make sure products are not over- or under-engineered. Over-engineering results in ineffective use of a firm’s resources and products. Under-engineered products and poor process designs result in lower quality as well.
  • Purchasing and Receiving - The purchasing department must ensure that purchased parts meet the quality requirements specified by product design and engineering. Receiving must ensure that the purchased items delivered are of the quality that was contracted for by purchasing, and that defective parts are not received.
  • Production Planning and Scheduling - The correct material, tools, and equipment must be available at the proper time and in the proper places to maintain a smooth flow of production.
  • Manufacturing and Assembly - Quality must be built into a product; it cannot be inspected into it. Proper control of labor, materials, and equipment is necessary to achieve high quality.
  • Tool Engineering -Tools used in manufacturing and inspection must be designed and maintained for continual production of a quality product. Tool performance should be consistently monitored so that worn or defective tools can be identified and replaced.
  • Industrial Engineering and Process Design - Team members from these areas must work with product design engineers to develop realistic specifications of quality. In addition, they must select appropriate technology, equipment, and work methods that will produce quality products.
  • Finished Goods Inspection and Tests - If quality is built into the product properly and rigorously, inspection should be unnecessary. However, in a less than perfect system, some inspection based on random sampling, or 100 percent inspection of critical components, is still necessary to ensure that no defective items reach the customer.
  • Packaging, Shipping, and Warehousing - Logistical activities take place in these locations which are designed to protect quality after goods are produced.

Installation and Service – These personnel must ensure that users understand the product and have adequate instructions for proper installation and operation.

In addition, quality in services is also important in today’s business environment because poor service often leads to lost customers - up to 35% per year - and therefore lost income. Retaining customers can mean a profit increase because it is more cost effective to retain them than to acquire new customers. Companies with long-time customers can financially outperform competitors with higher customer turnover even when their unit costs are higher and their market share is smaller.

Quality has moved beyond technical issues such as reliability, inspection, and quality control in manufacturing, because of changes in the economy and in society. Some of these concerns center on the increasing focus of businesses on service, and knowledge creation and management.

Unit 2: Tools and Techniques for Quality and Performance Excellence
This unit covers analyzing data, solving problems, designing, controlling, and improving processes to reduce the potential for failures.

  • It reviews statistical tools and related analytical techniques.
  • It provides a basic coverage of statistical control (SPC)
  • It stresses the important relationship between the stability of a process and its capability.
  • It links Six Sigma and process improvement tools and methods.
  • It covers the important principles and methods for the use of designed experimentation for quality design and improvements.

Unit 3: Managing for Quality and Performance Excellence
Unit 3 focuses on the organizational aspect of quality, which is linked to the concept of Performance Excellence and has its roots in the Baldrige program. Since its inception in 1987, the Baldrige program has had significant impacts on organizations around the world.

  • It introduces the Baldrige as a framework for building and managing successful organizations.
  • It draws attention to the importance of strategic planning and organization design for performance excellence.
  • It links information and knowledge management to performance excellence.
  • It identifies the role of leadership as the driver of quality and performance excellence.
  • It recommends sustaining performance excellence through organizational culture and change management.

As indicated in the opening of Unit 1, building and maintaining quality into an organization’s goods and services, and more importantly, into the organization's infrastructure, is not an easy task.  Unit 3 provides examples and a useful map for the journey towards performance and quality excellence.

Grading Criteria for Activities

Assignment Percentage
Discussion Activities (2) 15%
Participation in Weekly Quizzes 30%
Final Paper 25%
Final Exam 30%
Total: 100%

Grading Scale
A 90% - 100%
B 80% - 89%
C 70% - 79%
D 60% - 69%
F 0% - 59%


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