John A. Cafeo, Diane I. Gibbons, Ronald M. Lesperance, Alexander P. Morgan, Gülcin H. Sengir, and Andrea M. Simon, General Motors, USA
Reducing variation in the assembly of a vehicle body is a critical element in improving its quality. Assembly plants have dimensional-management teams, who monitor variation, respond to "variation crises," and continually reduce variation when there are no crises. These teams have, in the past, not kept archival records and have not shared solutions with other teams. This paper describes our project to develop a lessons-learned system for variation reduction. The elements of the project include developing an ontology, designing a case structure, defining similarity, and developing a user interface for case reporting and casebased retrieval.