2000-Quality Assurance in Jewellery Manufacture

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2000-Quality Assurance in Jewellery Manufacture

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The earliest quality marks before 1400 suggest jewellery-related industries could have started the quality movement. Since the 1980s, the quality gurus have created a major consultancy industry in quality assurance management in engineering and, lately, service industries. The diverse international jewellery industries do not yet have an academically sound, widely applicable quality assurance model and they are not focused on engineering performance and reliability. The engineering and services industries are even more diverse but they have coordinated quality assurance by using a systems management approach rather than focus on detailed product quality control. The resulting buzz words are systems definition, sensitivity analysis, TQM and ISO9000. A jewellery industry version of this approach can be demonstrated with case studies. The systems approach to quality management does have a unifying effect. What we mean by the product, who the customers are, what are their wants or needs, and perceptions of quality differ radically from one part of the industry to another and across national borders. The main aims of this paper are to describe the general concept of quality and look at ways in which it has changed, outline various approaches to management of quality, show how the concept of system can be useful in understanding and describing organizational situations, describe the total quality management approach, and look at ways in which it might be implemented in a variety of jewellery industry contexts. The paper is, in effect, an introduction to a quality assurance management manual that, through case studies, checklists and pro-formas, helps to develop customized solutions to quality management in jewellery and related service companies.

Author: Dr. John C. Wright

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