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Corning Glass Works - the Z-Glass Project

Autor:   •  March 8, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,442 Words (6 Pages)  •  3,632 Views

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Corning Glass Works. The Z-Glass Project

Introduction

Z-Glass started off as a very successful product of Corning Glass Works, in 1973. Harvey Blackburn, the director of new product development during 60's converted Z-Glass from a research project to a successful product. From 1973-77 production capacity grew 35% to 40% annually yet failed to meet market demands. However the real problem started in 3rd quarter of 1977, when the yields declined sharply. For 3 months, the management at Harrisburg Production plant tried to handle the problem on their own but could not change the situation. Oliver Williams, director of manufacturing for industrial products met Leibson, VP Corporate M&E (Manufacturing and Engineering) to request him to assign a team for Z-Glass project.

M&E team officially started the fulltime project in Z-Glass Harrisburg Plant on December 10th, 1977. During the next quarter, under the leadership of Eric Davidson, the team tried to identify the root causes of the problem.

Problem Analysis

Here is the summary of the root cause analysis, as seen by both the Plant Management and the M&E Project Team:

1. Plant Manager's View of Problem (Andrew MacTavish)

a. The Plant Manager Andrew MacTavish, acknowledges the existence of problems, but has a different view of the issue than the M&E team.

b. MacT. sees the "yield problem" as "people problem". Since 6 of the supervisors had less than 9 month experience, so it was understandable that overall performance of the plant was affect by the relative in-experience of the middle level management.

c. External involvement and pressure also adds to the inadequate performance.

2. M&E Team's View (Eric Davidson)

a. Eric also believes that the inexperienced people are cause of the problem.

b. Issues with production process, specifically molding & melting, don't get timely identified which reduces the opportunities of rectification.

c. Overall downtime of the production process is decreasing the yield significantly.

3. Analysis

a. Lack of sensor and control procedures to monitor the production process.

b. Reluctance of the plant staff to accept change in order to improve.

c. Reluctance towards accepting mistakes. Many problems are identified very late which spark the issue of root cause, and people don't accept that they were at fault.

d. Lack of training for the operational staff. New employees must

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