Evaluation of project quality engineering problems

in material handling plants using factorial designs



By Dr Lalamani Budeli

South Africa




Quality engineering is generally defined as conformance to specifications or fit for purpose. Production plants experience production downtimes due to material handling plants poor reliability and availability which relates very well with the project engineering quality management process. These problems are common to industries like power plant, mining, steel manufacturing, and cement manufacturing where large bulk material plants are used for material transportation purposes. This problem is worse where material transported have fine particle sizes, which if not handled well mechanically worsen the operating environment increasing the rate of equipment premature failures.

In strategic planning, there is a belief that the organization’s future depends entirely on what is done now and management has no choice but to anticipate the future and attempt to mold it and to balance short-range and long-range goals. The decisions, actions, resource allocation, and work done now will create the future. The present and immediate short-range require strategic decisions as much as the long-range. In systems engineering, designing a balanced system is what every design engineer must strive to achieve. This must be done by first looking at how the system should look like in the operational state, followed by a detailed requirement of the system.

Project quality engineering consists of analysis methods and the development of systems to ensure products or services are designed, developed, and manufactured to meet or exceed the customer’s requirements and expectations. Quality engineering encompasses all activities related to the analysis of a product’s design, development, and manufacturing processes for improving the quality of the product and the production process while identifying and reducing waste in its many forms. This study aimed to investigate project quality engineering problems in material handling plants and how factorial design can be used to improve material handling plants performance.

Keywords: Factorial design, project quality engineering, plant performance


“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” – Albert Einstein”

Goetsch and Davis (2013-5) argue that quality management is generally acknowledged as an approach to organizational management, which brings about enhanced performance (operational, technical, and financial). Oahland (2003-154) points out that over the past decades, organizations throughout the world have been antagonistically trailing project quality management since there is a commonly held view that high-quality products and services result in improved performance.

The lack of a definitive theory, which explains and substantiates how the quality management practices or dimensions are related to bring about improved organizational performance, has resulted in claims and counter-claims by advocates and opponents of quality management as its ability to deliver returns, explains Taylor (2009-157). Dolan (2000-252) indicates that it is important for every organization to identify quality management practices, which maximally contribute to organizational performance and how the quality management practices interact and influence each other to culminate in superior organizational performance.


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How to cite this paper: Budeli, L. (2020). Evaluation of project quality engineering problems in material handling plants using factorial designs, PM World Journal, Vol. IX, Issue X, October.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/pmwj98-Oct2020-Budeli-project-quality-engineering-problems-in-material-handling-plants.pdf



About the Author

Dr Lalamani Budeli

South Africa


 Dr Lalamani Budeli obtained his degree in Electrical Engineering at the Vaal University (VUT), BSc honors in Engineering Technology Management at University of Pretoria (UP), Master in engineering development and Management at North West University (NWU), Master of business administration at Regent Business School (RBS) and a Doctor of Philosophy in Engineering Development and Management at North West University (NWU), Potchefstroom, South Africa. Currently, he is a managing director of BLIT, an engineering, research, and project management company based in South Africa.

His research interests include project portfolio management, agile project management, plant life cycle management, advanced systems analytics, project early warning system, and the use of artificial intelligence in project management. Currently, he is spending most of the time on research that is looking at the development of system and application that uses the latest technology like block chain, internet of things (IoT), Big data, and artificial intelligence. Lalamani Budeli can be contacted at budelil@blit.co.za.