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Essay on Sony Corporation

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Sony Product Quality and Assurance Essay

Quality is a vital component for business success. It is quite a challenge to define it precisely. A simple definition of quality is meeting the needs and expectations of customers. The quality of a product needs to rhyme with the value tag as price as well as the level competition in the market. A customer will consider quality in terms of good design, functionality, reliability consistency and durability as well as value for the money. On the other hand, quality assurance is a systematic process of checking whether a product or service being developed meet specified requirements.

Sony Corporation from its formation it has a priority of providing high-quality customer-oriented products and services. The corporation has ensured works tirelessly to enhance product quality and reinforce its quality management system, and remains committed to bolstering customer satisfaction as stated in the Annual Report of 2012.

Sony also views usability and accessibility as essential aspects of product quality and is continuously taking steps to make its products and services easier for more people to use worldwide (Sony Corporation, www.sony.net).

The situation that rocked the Corporation in the mid 1980’s, in which the television set manufactured in Japan were sold faster that those produced in a sister company in USA, was a result of quality, even though the set produced were identical, and it was difficult to distinguish them. From the investigation carried out, it showed that the television sets manufacture in Japan were of color sharpness and brilliant hues, as opposed to those made in USA. This did not mean that those set produced in USA were of low quality. The San Diego facility had a quality program to ensure that the products produced were of specified standards. On the other hand, the Japanese facility lacked the quality program; it only emphasized on reduction of variation from part to part.

In Taguchi Loss Function approach, he quick to points that no amount of inspection can improve a product but quality incorporated into a product must be from the initial stage. The defective parts were minimized to zero in San Diego, with a uniform distribution within specification limit achieved, while Japanese facility produced parts outside the designed specification to achieve a lower mean variation. The Taguchi’s idea of “design is to improve the quality of a product by minimizing the effects of variation without eliminating the causes”, as they are too difficult or too expensive to control(Wysk et al, 34). His off-line quality control method seems to be instituted both at the product and process design stage aimed to improve product manufacturability and reliability. For instance, the facility in Japan did not have a quality program to detect the defects like the San Diego one.

In the figures of objective – function value distribution of color in the television set shows that there is a target or a norm in which all the sets produce must meet in terms of specifications. Any deviation from the target or norm it means it reduces the quality of a television set manufactured.

In manufacturing product, an engineer needs to have a good concept of the nominal limit of the specification. “The usual lower and upper limits for the tolerance of a given design parameter are changed to a continuous function that presents any parameter value other than the nominal as a loss” (Wysk et al, 43). A good example is the San Diego facility, whose specification deviated more from the norm or the target that led to a loss of $1.33 and that of Japan with less deviation with a loss of $0.44. The norm or target is the best, since it act as a guideline in which any production of television set needs to adhere to. Loss will only be minimized through monitoring of the process variables during production and regulate “the process to reduce manufacturing imperfections so that response parameters fall within the specified tolerances” that may be a few limits from the norm (Wysk et al, 35). The adjustment of the production process of a product to attain the desired quality was lacking in USA television sets production, which resulted in low color sharpness and hue, in which Taguchi referred as an off-line quality control method.

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