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University of Technology, Jamaica School of Computing and Information Technology

Introduction to Production and Operations Management (POM3001)

Group Project:

CASE STUDY: BAYFIELD MUD COMPANY

July 2010

Problem Statement
It was highlighted in the case that it was suspected that only occasional reminders were made to double check the bag weight-feeder. If there is significant deviation from 50 pounds, corrective adjustments are made to the weight-release mechanism. To verify this expectation, the quality control staff randomly samples and weighed each hour.

Objective
To identify and document any deviations from the correct weighted total of the bag weight-feeder exceeding 50 pounds.

Introduction
In our evaluation of the Bayfield Mud Company operations we will conduct an analysis of the bag weight problem. We will analyze in our report our findings, which will include the following:

How did the quality problem at Bayfield occur and who is responsible

Recommendations on improving or maintaining proper quality control so that this problem will not happen again.

Any control charts and other data to support your analysis.

This case study was adapted from "Bayfield Mud Company" by Dean Jerry Kindard (Francis Marion College) as written in Render, Barry and Stair, Ralph M. Quantitative Analysis for Management, (7th Ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 2000. July 2010

BAYFIELD MUD COMPANY


In November 2002, John Wells, a customer service representative of Bayfield Mud Company, was summoned to the Houston warehouse of wet land Drilling, Inc., to inspect three boxcars of mud-treating agents that Bayfield Mud Company had shipped to the Houston firm. (Bayfields Corporate Offices and its largest plant are located in orange, Texas, which is just west of the Louisiana-Texas border.) Wet-land Drilling had filed a complaint that the 50 Pound bags of treating agents that it had just received from Bayfield were short-weight by approximately 5%.

The light-weight bags were initially detected by one of Wet-Lands receiving clerks, who noticed that the rail road side scale tickets indicated that the net weights were significantly less on all three of the boxcars than those of identical shipments received on October 25, 2002. Bayfields traffic department was called to determine if lighter-weight dunnage or pallets were used on the shipments. (This might explain the lighter weights.) Bayfield indicated, however, that no changes had been made in the loading or palletizing procedures. Hence, Wet-Land randomly checked 50 of the bags and discovered that the average net weight was 47.51 pounds. They noted from past shipments that the bag net weights averaged exactly 50.0 pounds, with an acceptable standard deviation of 1.2 pounds. Consequently, they concluded that the sample indicated a significance short-weight. (Students may wish to verify this conclusion.) Bayfield, was then contacted, and Wels was sent to investigate the complaint and issued a 5% credit to Wet-Land.

Wet-Land management, however, was not completely satisfied with only the issuance of credit for the short shipment. The charts followed by their mud engineers on the drilling platforms were based on 50-pound bags of treating agents. Lighter-weight bags might result in poor chemical control during the drilling operation and might adversely affect drilling efficiency. (Mud-treating agents are used to control the pH and other chemical properties of the open during drilling operations.) This could cause severe economic consequences because of the extremely high cost of oil and natural gas well-drilling operations. Consequently, special use instructions had to accompany the delivery of these shipments to the drilling platforms. Moreover, the light-weight shipments had to be isolated in Wet-Lands warehouse, causing extra handling and poor space utilization. Hence, Wells was informed that Wet-Land Drilling might seek e new supplier of mud-treating agents if, in the future, it received bags that deviated significantly from 50 pounds.

The quality control department at Bayfield suspected that the light-weight bags may have resulted from growing pains at the orange plant. Because of the earlier energy crises, oil

and natural gas exploration activity had greatly increased. This increased activity, in turn, created increased demand for products produced by related industries, including drilling muds. Consequently, Bayfield had to expand from one shift (6 A.M. to 2 P.M.) to a two-shift (2 P.M. to 10 P.M.) operation in mid 2000, and finally to a three-shift operation (24 hours per day) in the fall of 2002.

The additional night shift bagging crew was staffed entirely by new employees. The most experienced foremen were temporarily assigned to supervise the night shift employees. Most emphasis was placed on increasing the output of bags to meet the ever-increasing demand. It was suspected that only occasional reminders were made to double-check the bag weight feeder. (A double check is performed by systematically weighting a bag on a scale to determine if the proper weight is being loaded by the weight-feeder. If there is significant deviation from 50 pounds, corrective adjustments are made to the weight-release mechanism.)

To verify this expectation, the quantity control staff randomly sampled the bag output and prepared the following chart. Six bags were sampled and weighted each hour.

Table 1: Sample Data representing the Bag Output


RANGE AVERAGE WEIGHT (POUNDS)
49.6 50.2 50.6 50.8 49.9 50.3 48.6 49.0 49.0 49.8 50.3 51.4 51.6

TIME
6:00 AM 7:00 AM 8:00 AM 9:00 AM 10:00 AM 11:00 AM 12:00 PM 1:00 PM 2:00 PM 3:00 PM 4:00 PM 5:00 PM 6:00 PM

LOWEST WEIGHT (POUNDS)


48.7 49.1 49.6 50.2 49.2 48.6 46.2 46.4 46.0 48.2 49.2 50.0 49.2

HIGHEST WEIGHT (POUNDS)


50.7 51.2 51.4 51.8 52.3 51.7 50.4 50.0 50.6 50.8 52.7 55.3 54.7

RANGE
2.0 2.1 1.8 1.6 3.1 3.1 4.2 3.6 4.6 2.6 3.5 5.3 5.5

7:00 PM 8:00 PM 9:00 PM 10:00 PM 11:00 PM 12:00 AM 1:00 AM 2:00 AM 3:00 AM 4:00 AM 5:00 AM 6:00 AM 7:00 AM 8:00 AM 9:00 AM 10:00 AM 11:00 AM 12:00 PM 1:00 PM 2:00 PM 3:00 PM 4:00 PM 5:00 PM 6:00 PM 7:00 PM 8:00 PM 9:00 PM 10:00 PM 11:00 PM 12:00 AM 1:00 AM 2:00 AM

51.8 51.0 50.5 49.2 49.0 48.4 47.6 47.4 48.2 48.0 48.4 48.6 50.0 49.8 50.3 50.2 50.0 50.0 50.1 49.7 48.4 47.2 46.8 46.8 50.0 47.4 47.0 47.2 48.6 49.8 49.6 50.0

50.0 48.6 49.4 46.1 46.3 45.4 44.3 44.1 45.2 45.5 47.1 47.4 49.2 49.0 49.4 49.6 49.0 48.8 49.4 48.6 47.2 45.3 44.1 41.0 46.2 44.0 44.2 46.6 47.0 48.2 48.4 49.0

55.6 53.2 52.4 50.7 50.8 50.2 49.7 49.6 49.0 49.1 49.6 52.0 52.2 52.4 51.7 51.8 52.3 52.4 53.6 51.0 51.7 50.9 49.0 51.2 51.7 48.7 48.9 50.2 50.0 50.4 51.7 52.2

5.6 4.6 3.0 4.6 4.5 4.8 5.4 5.5 3.8 3.6 2.5 4.6 3.0 3.4 2.3 2.2 3.3 3.6 4.2 2.4 4.5 5.6 4.9 10.2 5.5 4.7 4.7 3.6 3.0 2.2 3.3 3.2

3:00 AM 4:00 AM 5:00 AM 6:00 AM 7:00 AM 8:00 AM 9:00 AM 10:00 AM 11:00 AM 12:00 PM 1:00 PM 2:00 PM 3:00 PM 4:00 PM 5:00 PM 6:00 PM 7:00 PM 8:00 PM 9:00 PM 10:00 PM 11:00 PM 12:00 AM 1:00 AM 2:00 AM 3:00 AM 4:00 AM 5:00 AM

50.0 47.2 47.0 48.4 48.8 49.6 50.0 51.0 50.4 50.0 48.9 49.8 49.8 50.0 47.8 46.4 46.4 47.2 48.4 49.2 48.4 47.2 47.4 48.8 49.6 51.0 50.5

49.2 46.3 44.1 45.0 44.8 48.0 48.1 48.1 49.5 48.7 47.6 48.4 48.8 49.1 45.2 44.0 44.4 46.6 47.2 48.1 47.0 46.4 46.8 47.2 49.0 50.5 50.0

50.0 50.5 49.7 49.0 49.7 51.8 52.7 55.2 51.4 50.9 51.2 51.0 50.8 50.6 51.2 49.7 50.0 48.9 49.5 50.7 50.8 49.2 49.0 51.4 50.6 51.5 51.9

0.8 4.2 5.6 4.0 4.9 3.8 4.6 7.1 1.9 2.2 3.6 2.6 2.0 1.5 6.0 5.7 5.6 2.3 2.3 2.6 3.8 2.8 2.2 4.2 1.6 1.0 1.9

Average

49.1

3.7

Analysis of the Bag Weight Problem

Quality Control Limits for the Sample Means


To measure the process, we analyze the samples statistics doing the following calculations:: - Desired mean: mean ( x ) = 50.0 - Sample size = 6 - The following information was extracted from Table 2: Upper Range (D4) =2.004 Lower Range (D3) = 0 Mean Range (R-bar) = 3.7
x = / n = 1.2 6 = 1.2 / 2.45 = 0.489.

standard deviation ( ) = 1.2

At a 99.73% confidence interval Z = 3

- X -Chart Limits
UCL X = X + 3 x = 50 + 3 0.489 = 50 + 1.47 = 51.47 LCL X = X 3 x = 50 1.47 = 48.53

- R-bar Chart Limits UCLR =D4 * (R-bar) LCLR=D3 * (R-bar)

Therefore, the upper and lower control limits for the Range are: UCL = (2.004) * (3.7) = 7.4148 LCL = (0) * (3.7) = 0

Table 2: Factor of Computing Control Chart Limit (3-sigma)


Sample size, n
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

Mean Factor, A2
1.88 1.023 0.729 0.577 0.483 0.419 0.373 0.337 0.308 0.285 0.266 0.249 0.235 0.223 0.212 0.203 0.194 0.187 0.18 0.173 0.167 0.162 0.157 0.153

Upper Range, D4
3.268 2.574 2.282 2.115 2.004 1.924 1.864 1.816 1.777 1.744 1.716 1.692 1.671 1.652 1.636 1.621 1.608 1.596 1.586 1.575 1.566 1.557 1.548 1.541

Lower Range, D3
0 0 0 0 0 0.076 0.136 0.184 0.223 0.256 0.284 0.308 0.329 0.348 0.364 0.379 0.392 0.404 0.414 0.425 0.434 0.443 0.452 0.459

Day Shift
Day 1 Tim e Averag e Weight (pound s)
49.6 50.2 50.6 50.8 49.9 50.3 48.6 49.0

Day 2 High Weight (pound s)


50.7 51.2 51.4 51.8 52.3 51.7 50.4 50.0

Day 3 High Weight (pound s)


52.0 52.2 52.4 51.7 51.8 52.3 52.4 53.6

Lowest Weight (pound s)


48.7 49.1 49.6 50.2 49.2 48.6 46.2 46.4

Averag e Weight (pound s)


48.6 50.0 49.8 50.3 50.2 50.0 50.0 50.1

Lowest Weight (pound s)


47.4 49.2 49.0 49.4 49.6 49.0 48.8 49.4

Averag e Weight (pound s)


48.4 48.8 49.6 50.0 51.0 50.4 50.0 48.9

Lowest Weight (pound s)


45.0 44.8 48.0 48.1 48.1 49.5 48.7 47.6

High Weight (pounds )


49.0 49.7 51.8 52.7 55.2 54.1 50.9 51.2

6:00 7:00 8:00 9:00 10:00 11:00 12:00 1:00

Control Charts
Day 1

Day 2

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Day 3

Evening Shift
Day 1 Tim e Averag e Weight (pound s)
49.0 49.8 50.3 51.4 51.6 51.8 51.0 50.5

Day 2 High Weight (pound s)


50.6 50.8 52.7 55.3 54.7 55.6 53.2 52.4

Day 3 High Weight (pound s)


51.0 51.7 50.9 49.0 51.2 51.7 48.7 48.9

Lowest Weight (pound s)


46.0 48.2 49.2 50.0 49.2 50.0 48.6 49.4

Averag e Weight (pound s)


49.7 48.4 47.2 46.8 46.8 50.0 47.4 47.0

Lowest Weight (pound s)


48.6 47.2 45.3 44.1 41.0 46.2 44.0 44.2

Averag e Weight (pound s)


49.8 49.8 50.0 47.8 46.4 46.4 47.2 48.4

Lowest Weight (pound s)


48.4 48.8 49.1 45.2 44.0 44.4 46.6 47.2

High Weight (pound s)


51.0 50.8 50.6 51.2 49.7 50.0 48.9 49.5

2:00 3:00 4:00 5:00 6:00 7:00 8:00 9:00

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Control Charts
Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

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Night Shift
Day 1 Tim e Averag e Weight (pound s)
49.2 49.0 48.4 47.6 47.4 48.2 48.0 48.4

Day 2 High Weight (pound s)


50.7 50.8 50.2 49.7 49.6 49.0 49.1 49.6

Day 3 High Weight (pound s)


50.2 50.0 50.4 51.7 52.2 50.0 50.5 49.7

Lowest Weight (pound s)


46.1 46.3 45.4 44.3 44.1 45.2 45.5 47.1

Averag e Weight (pound s)


47.2 48.6 49.8 49.6 50.0 50.0 47.2 47.0

Lowest Weight (pound s)


46.6 47.0 48.2 48.4 49.0 49.2 46.3 44.1

Averag e Weight (pound s)


49.2 48.4 47.2 47.4 48.8 49.6 51.0 50.5

Lowest Weight (pound s)


48.1 47.0 46.4 46.8 47.2 49.0 50.5 50.0

High Weight (pound s)


50.7 50.8 49.2 49.0 51.4 50.6 51.5 51.9

10:00 11:00 12:00 1:00 2:00 3:00 4:00 5:00

Control Charts
Day 1

Day 2

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Day 3

Analysis

The results from the statistics show that there was a statistical control on the day shift for the first 2 days, that is, the weight of the bags fell within the operational limits. The assumption is that because the problem exists across all the shifts then there may be a problem with the machine, possibly a malfunction or gradual deterioration of quality due to machine wear. This is so because statistics has shown that the machine has been performing to standards before the problem arise. Because the machine operates acceptable within the control limit for shift 1 and shift 2. For all shifts statistics show that production was indeed out of control. In concluding, there was a small change in the average of the bag weights. The average weights of the bag fell within the average limit except for one shift, this

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shows that the machine is operating at a consistent level but not within the acceptable control limits.

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Recommended Procedures for Proper Quality Control

1. Employee empowerment is one of the key aspects of dealing with this problem, this has to be done through continuous training and development to educate them on how to follow guidelines and procedures set by the company, and how to report them. 2. Setting up policies and procedures to monitor and report machine problems has to be in place for machine operators to report machine problems and other inefficiency. This will be a part of the companys Total Quality Management plan. 3. Continuous improvement of the machines should be done on a regular basis, such as bi-monthly or annually, as this machine is a key asset to the companies revenue model 4. The company can put in place automated testing devices to inspect every single unit that is produced. In that case, machine operators will be informed of any defects in the functional ability of the machines and detecting even small shifts in the production. 5. Periodic auditing by a quality control personnel should be done and documentation completed, so as to be able to track repeat problems. The documentary evidence should be submitted to management and the manufacturers of the machine, this can help to reduce cost where the product may still be under warranty or may be awarded a refund or exchange. The audit reports must be periodically reviewed and corrective actions be taken to resolve the problem. 6. An immediate action that the company can take to fix this problem is in the form of Robust Quality, that is, they dont have to fix the machine right away because it is needed for the companys revenue making, what they need to do is just control the effects of the machine, until the time is appropriate to fix or replace it.

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