The use of simulation for the investigation of quality economics in a cell-based manufacturing environment.
This thesis is an investigation into the use of simulation for the study of
quality economics within a cell-based manufacturing environment. Quality is,
for the purposes of this report, considered to mean conformance to
This research identified two distinct areas of study that could be considered
part of quality economics. The economic design of quality control procedures
is concerned with the "micro" side of quality economics, focusing on single
processes, whilst quality costing systems represent the "macro" side, focusing
on entire production lines, departments or organisations. A critical analysis of
these areas suggested a number of deficiencies. In addition, a number of
economic quality models were considered. These were found to focus on the
"macro" side of quality economics, with no consideration of the effect of
specific changes to specific processes - the "micro" side. It was suggested that
simulation would be a suitable approach for overcoming some of these
The precedent for the use of simulation to investigate quality economics is
considered, with the conclusion that none of the existing approaches reviewed
were able to model the manufacturing systems under consideration in sufficient
detail. Therefore, a new approach is outlined, and the thesis then describes the
development and validation of this approach. A number of examples are given
that are intended to both illustrate the simulation approach and, hopefully,
provide certain generic information that can be applied to any similar
Conclusions are drawn regarding the success of the project relative to the
initial aims, and the contribution to our understanding of quality economics.
Finally, a number of recommendations for further work are given.