Quality Management in Distributed Multisite Manufacturing


Keywords quality management systems, multisite manufacturing

Start Date: To be announced / Duration: 36 months

[ contact / participants ]


MULITIMAN aims to create multisite support systems for the multilevel activities of quality management in industry.

The efficient and effective management of quality is acknowledged as being critical for European manufacturing industries. Without increasing resources, quality management must stay in line with ever-evolving market-driven product and process variants, whilst at the same time being dependent upon rare specialist and company-wide knowledge. Without the integration of expertise and knowledge existing within each single site, multi-site companies often duplicate quality efforts without gaining any global benefits from industrial quality activities on a local and multi-site basis through the application of advanced IT technology.

At present the relatively small amount of systems which deal with quality management normally deal with only the local activities of individual industrial sites. Such systems tend to record and statistically treat quality data without exploiting the complementary existing knowledge and experience about quality issues in the factory. Therefore even at a single-site-local-event level, the incorporation of previously acquired know-how is not currently supported. The project will therefore develop support tools that will exploit such knowledge and reasoning between distributed sites and, at the same time, collect and collate data from them en masse.

Another emerging quality issue dealt with by MULTIMAN is the evolution of quality standards, certification and documentation. Current thinking is leading more factories towards the introduction of "Total Quality" approaches with the exclusion of IT support. However, these two means are not mutually exclusive: in fact, through the application of advanced IT in MULTIMAN, human analysis, experimentation and new discoveries about quality will be easily collected, interpreted and exploited to automatically validate and efficiently support new future quality methods, standards and certification.

Each software tool built by MULTIMAN will be integrated with the existing quality systems and factory environments on each site. This integration task is considered to be vital to the exploitability of MULTIMAN results, and as such will merit the development of specific tools.


Dr Marco Guida
Pirelli Informatica
Expert Systems Group
Via Dei Valtorta 48
I - 20127 Milano
tel: + 39 / 2 28325661
fax: + 39 / 2 28324999


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MULTIMAN - 8991, December 1993

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