Date of Award

5-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Mechanical Engineering

Committee Member

Dr. Joshua Summers, Committee Chair

Committee Member

Dr. Gregory Mocko

Committee Member

Dr. Cameron Turner

Abstract

Due to interest in aspects such as process, strategies, tools of engineering changes expressed in a literature review, two case studies were done on a major automotive OEM to assess the perceived quality of its engineering change management system and process through its employees' eyes. A combination of interviews and written surveys was used to capture the views of participants from all major functions found at the research and development (R&D) headquarters of the OEM: Purchasing, Production, Development, and one group consisting of all other functions ("Other"). This research filled a gap that was found in the literature review: No work was found that took into consideration the engineering change process and tool weaknesses as expressed by the associates who use them. Twelve associates were interviewed. The findings were used as a basis for a survey given to 46 associates. Differences in engineering change sources between this OEM and other manufacturers across a breadth of industries were identified. Improvement opportunities were found in the following areas: process flow related to timing, system integration with other systems in use at OEM, system interface/usability, and overall quality of information input into system. Additional interviews were conducted at a manufacturing facility of the same OEM: differences regarding timing and process between temporary and permanent engineering changes were discovered through five interviews.

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