Polaroid Case Study Essay

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BACKDROP

Polaroid is manufacturer of photographic equipment, accessories and related items used in instant photography. The organization was divided into two main divisions – The Consumer Photography Division and the Technical and Industrial Division with each of these divisions contributing around 40% of Polaroid’s revenues of $ 1.3 billion in 1984.

The company produced two main types of films:

1. The peel apart film which required the user to physically pull the film out of the camera and,

2. The integral film, which came out of the camera automatically.

The integral films were manufactured in the R2 building at the Waltham Massachusetts site. The operations at R2 included production of sheet metal springs,
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This precluded the possibility of finding defects which would occur with imprecisely functioning cameras.

GREENLIGHT

The project objective was quality monitoring costs reduction while at the same time improving the quality of the product. The improvements in quality control processes were focused along with reducing the number of samples. The plan consisted of three distinct elements:

1. Statistical process control would be adapted as processes in control and capable of producing within specifications would produce more consistent quality.

2. Production operators would be given the process control tools that the process engineering technicians had been using and in conjunction with sampling would be expected to make disposition decisions themselves.

3. Quality control auditors would concentrate on training operators and operationalizing specifications on their new products.

The statistical process control system involving both acceptance sampling and automated process control was to be implemented. SPC involved testing for productions within a pre-specified range. If the production went beyond the range, the production process had to be shut down maintenance was to be called to perform maintenance and recalibration. As a part of the process, the operators were to take six random measurements of a process characteristic during the course of their shift and then plot the mean measured value.

This

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