Situation For the past 18 months, Matt has been the production manager of plastic housings for his company. During this time, Matt has instilled in his workers the importance of meeting customers’ specifications for quality and service. Matt implemented a rigorous inspection program to assure that these specifications, which he calls the “voice of the customer,” are met. The results have been legendary throughout his company. Matt’s records indicate that all of the products that were shipped to the customer met all specifications for a nine-month period. Also, no customer complaints about the plastic housings were lodged during this time frame. However, in the past month, Matt’s customers have complained of breakage of the plastic housings. Matt is concerned and intends to get to the bottom of the problem. Available data Because Matt has no record of shipping anything out of specification, he asked the production inspectors for breakage test data. Once an hour, a breakage test is done on one plastic housing. Because this is a destructive test, the inspectors keep a close eye on the test values to make certain that all of them meet the minimum specification for break strength. Data for production line 1, the line that produces the largest volume of units, are available in the table, Breakage Values. Questions 1. Should Matt assume that all of the products that were shipped met the specifications for breakage? 2. What critical message has been contained in the breakage data all along that Matt was not able to see? 3. What can Matt expect to happen in the future if production continues as it has up to now?
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