Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


The project is to use TQM principles like standardization to modify the processes whereby we make wooden plaque blanks, bases and engrave the image on the plaques. The problem I have addressed is that the previous method of production was highly dependent on the skill level of the students (workers) and took too long to finish the production run. I mentioned in the introduction that the students display Beginner Skill Level with most machines and processes. The processes used for the first year were almost an artisan approach. Each of the 300 parts was made one by one with very little if any standardized processes. The quality of the final plaque blank was highly dependent upon the skill level of the student doing the work. The inconsistent skill level from student to student led to a very high degree of variation in the plaque blanks and a very high rate of defective parts. Rework was common. It was as if each plaque was an individual project. The process to make 300 plaque blanks this way took too much time and required too many skilled student workers. The plaques displayed too much variation in quality of appearance Year two I made several changes to the production project by applying Total Quality Management principles to processes used in making the plaques. In Year 2 I standardized several processes, made some jigs and fixtures, and used CNC machinery. Year three I continued to make changes and experimented with several process options. More exactly made pieces allowed for more standardizing of processes using jigs and fixtures. Also, I compared two CNC methods to determine the best machine to use.

Year of Submission



Department of Technology

First Advisor

Scott Greenhalgh


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Date Original

Summer 2015

Object Description

1 PDF file (16 pages)