The DD IT Company is a technology company producing customized Ion and Electron Microscopes. The applications of their products can be used in a…


The DD IT Company is a technology company producing customized Ionand Electron Microscopes. The applications of their products can be used in a variety of industry areas, from academia to high- tech industries. Their customers are given the options of customizing the product to meet specific process needs. The company’s financial profile shows that their sales revenue last year exceeded $600 million. The company is currently upgrading their tools for the improvement in the imaging and wafer transfer system. This is required to help expand the market size and to meet customers’ satisfaction. This upgrading project was executed and is now in its operational stage. Within the recent month, there have been two sudden robot failures on two different tools during a build cycle.  Lisa, the manufacturing engineer, has notified Nick, quality engineer, about the failures, assuming that the two robots have some faulty parts. She has requested that the two robots be sent back to the supplier for rework.  But, it seems this decision has left some questioning the cause of the Quality issue. The focus of this case is related to project quality management.  Below is Lisa & Nick’s conversation: Nick:  How do you know it was the supplier’s fault? Is there a chance that we damaged them during handling or installation? Lisa:  According to the Reject report, the technician said that the two robots were working fine for two weeks after installation. But then there were a few error messages and the Final Stage Transfer repeatedly stopped.   Nick:  So, we don’t really know if it’s the supplier’s fault? Surely, if it was their fault, those robots wouldn’t have worked for the first two weeks, would they?   Lisa:  True. However, anything is possible. I think we should send these machines back for them to check it outNick:  We can’t just send them back without a documented “potential-causes” report.   Lisa:  But, we don’t have time to do any tests or troubleshooting. They have the experts in their company who can test the robots to find out what’s wrong with the machines. I suggest we send them back and save ourselves some time.  Nick agreed with Lisa’s suggestion and the two robots were sent back to the supplier for investigation. One week later, similar problems occurred on several other machines. The problem became so big that the issue was elevated to Donnie, the Engineering Manager. Donnie asked Lisa to form a team to identify the root cause of the problem. Lisa agreed to the following steps:  -goal definition,  -root cause analysis,  -countermeasures identification, and  -Standardization. Lisa called a meeting with Nick and the other two manufacturing technicians, Joseph and Ryan. The team proceeded to get a list of possible causes for the problem. As a normal procedure in the team’s analysis, the first thing to do was to create a fishbone diagram.     Below is the team’s conversation: Joseph:  As a starting point, can we capture what actually happened before the error message showed up on the screen? Ryan:  I don’t really know what happened. I was just starting to follow the procedure for the Final Stage Transfer and then the error message showed up.   Joseph: That doesn’t make any sense. If nothing changed on the system itself, we shouldn’t have gotten the error. Something must have changed on the system.   Lisa:  Let’s create a fishbone diagram for potential root causes of this problem. The team brainstormed using the fishbone diagram method. The purpose of this exercise was to ensure everyone’s input was captured during the process. When going through each idea, they also decided whether those ideas were candidates for root causes. If any of the ideas didn’t make sense, they put them aside and noted them as “possible, but not likely” causes. Once the ideas of potential root causes were laid out, they started their fishbone diagram by grouping the potential causes into larger categories such as Software, Mechanical, etc. The fishbone diagram would be used as a tool to communicate with upper management as well as field personnel showing all possible items that needed to be checked if and when the errors occurred again.  Lisa then reported back to Donnie on the team’s progress.Their conversation:Lisa:  Here’s the fishbone diagram you requested. We came up with a few things that need to be checked using our tools on the manufacturing floor. Donnie:  How much time do you need? Do you have a test plan for each item?   Lisa:  I have not created the test plan yet, but it should be straightforward.   Donnie:  I think you should create a test plan to show us all what you’re going to do and what the results would be. We should get to the root cause before it gets out of hand. Lisa:  Okay. I will work on it.  Based on this case-study, make note of 2-3 learnings you would incorporate into a subsequent Quality Management Plan.   Business Management Project Management PROJECT MANAGEMENT BSB51415

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