In today's competitive environment, the age-old belief of many companies that "the customer is
always right" has a new twist. In order to survive, companies are focusing their entire organization
on customer satisfaction. The approach followed for ensuring customer satisfaction is known as Total
Quality Management (TQM). The challenge is to "manage" so that the "total" and the "quality"
are experienced in an effective manner.1
Though modern quality control dates back to 1916, the real beginning of TQM can be considered
the late 1940s, when such figures as W. E. Deming, J. M. Juran, and A. V. Feigenbaum played an
instrumental role.2 In subsequent years, the TQM approach was more widely practiced in Japan than
anywhere else. In 1951, the Japanese Union of Scientists and Engineers introduced a prize, named
after W. E. Deming, for the organization that implemented the most successful quality policies. On
similar lines, in 1987, the U. S. government introduced the Malcolm Baldrige Award.
Quality cannot be inspected out of a product; it must be built in. The consideration of quality in
design begins during the specification-writing phase. Many factors contribute to the success of the
quality consideration in engineering or mechanical design. TQM is a useful tool for application during
the design phase. It should be noted that the material presented in this section does not specifically
deal with mechanical design, but with the design in general. The same material is equally applicable
to the design of mechanical items. This chapter presents topics such as TQM in general, Deming's
approach to TQM, quality in design, quality tools and techniques, and selected references on TQM
and design quality.
Mechanical Engineers' Handbook, 2nd ed., Edited by Myer Kutz.
ISBN 0-471-13007-9 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT IN
B. S. Dhillon
Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Ottawa
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada