Integrated approach for optimizing quality control in international manufacturing networks
This paper aims at providing an integrated approach for optimizing quality control in International Manufacturing Networks (IMN), which can be characterized by consisting of numerous plants acting autonomously according to an individual target system. A key challenge is to ensure the overall process quality despite distributed value creation processes and differing target systems in dynamic environments. Hence, the developed approach allows for identifying potentials in the quality control strategy by using a value stream-based method to visualize quality characteristics and procedures in the production process chain. Furthermore, the approach contains a framework for identifying possible improvement measures and a simulation-based evaluation concept to evaluate the effects of different measures with respect to individual target systems. The simulation combines elements of a discrete-event simulation in order to depict the value stream with agent-based modelling for realizing different target systems by considering distinctive plant roles. The paper concludes with a case study of a globally operating automotive supplier to apply the approach. A forward research agenda is proposed that evaluates the approach in multiple cases, deriving patters across companies or industries.