The ryobi “air-clean” 4-cycle engine: A case study in engineering and manufacturing management

James G. Conley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


A number of TQM processes were employed during the rapid development of the revolutionary “Air Clean” (AC), four cycle engine recently introduced by the Ryobi Group of companies. A dynamic, cross functional team organization was used to involve all functions. A simple form of quality function deployment was used to identify desirable product design, safety and service features. The challenges presented by the QFD data were combined with identified design for assembly and design for manufacturing concerns to create the project schedule together with a flow plan for concurrent engineering. Statistical process control of critical machined dimensions was introduced to avoid tolerance stack-up and performance variability. The actual performance of the team verses planned scheduling targets will be compared. Team dynamics and midterm organizational changes required to satisfy design, cost and performance objectives will be reviewed. Important planning mnemonics and graphics used to educate team members and execute the plan will be presented. Finally, the technological breakthroughs achieved during the program will be presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-31
Number of pages9
JournalEMJ - Engineering Management Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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