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Diversified Construction Materials

Product Research and Development Progress Report Handblown Insulation Project

Stephanie Busch Professor Ashlee Brand ENG 2151 Fall 2011 Diversified Construction Materials

Summary memorandum To:

A. Brand, Professor Eng 2151


S. Busch, Student


November 13, 2011

Diversified Construction Materials

Subject: R & D Findings CC:

Bill Mondale, VP Operations

INTRODUCTION Diversified Construction Materials, has long been known for its’ high quality insulation products. It is no secret that today’s economy has hit a low affecting thousands of businesses across the country; DCM is no exception. Foreign and Domestic manufacturers have outsourced several of their production facilities outside of the U.S. which has wreaked havoc on the company. However, over recent months DCM has been researching and developing an innovative competitor to the standard fiberglass insulation. Initial research shows that this product will perform as well as fiberglass, but at a lower cost, thus bringing business back to DCM and keeping jobs right here in Acton. CAUSE OF ISSUE During the course of the research, an examination of laboratory notebooks has revealed that three of the seven technicians participating in the project have experienced an extreme fluctuation in their rates of absence from work during the initial development stage of the product. Further research would indicate that of the seven (7) techs working the project, three (3) have complained of, or has sought out medical treatment for similar symptoms of bronchial irritation. Though each experienced varied degrees of this illness, this represents a rather alarming (42%) of the workers, on the same project, with the same affliction. RECOMMENDATION Included in this report is documentation of employees past and present attendance history. Also included is medical documenation of symptoms, treatments and recommendations from medical professionals. It is my recommendation that this information be further studied and analyzed prior to launching this product to our widespread customer base.

Stakeholders We have an inherent responsibility to all concerned in this project. We need to take into consideration who will be most affected by the results of this products release. They are as follows: • DCM company • DCM customers • DCM staff • DCM suppliers • DCM community • DCM owners

Quality and integrity of the brand is paramount They have the right to be assured that the product meets with Federal Regulations They have the right to have their issues addressed and resolved They need for DCM to use their products in a way that does not affect the overall good of the community The consumer has the right to expect the consistent standard of excellence that DCM has provided in the past DCM investors expect not only a profitable return, but do not want any hint of scandal, or wrongdoings associated with their name



staff DCM




Diversified Construction Materials

Initial Findings As the head technical writer, I have been tasked with creating the product information specs on the handblown insulation product. The information I’ve compiled thus far was obtained using lab notes and research (both documented and projected) from the engineering department and employee statistics from Human Resources. An analysis of this data has revealed a striking spike in the loss of time from work due to employee illness during this project. Lab notes indicate that when exposed to certain elements of the product, employees began to exhibit symptoms of bronchial irritation. (complete medical documentation can be found in the shared directory of management review files.) There are 7 technicians on the project, of these seven, • 1 has exhibited relatively mild symptoms which seemed to be alleviated while outside the DCM lab. • 1 was hospitalized for a 2 day period • 1 was so severely affected that he requested to be transferred off of the project all together; This request was granted. With a staggering 43% of the workers on the project having been affected, I have taken these findings to Bill Mondale. As VP of Operations, he is entitled to any information that may pose serious [future] health risks, not just to his employees, but also to the end user, the consumer.


Diversified Construction Materials

Facts Presented Mondale was provided access to all research associated with the progression of this project. He was presented with employee statistics such as the chart below. Also presented was a financial forecast both for success of the project as well as the impact to DCM, should the project fail. Though he seemed concerned, Mondale has issued a directive for continuation of the project citing: • DCM reputation • initial investment • third quarter profits It is Mondale’s opinion that it would take weeks, possibly months to complete an absolute study on any long term health hazard, which doesn’t factor into his fast approaching deadline and indicates that any risk involved is a risk he is willing to take. (complete written report and approval can be found in the shared directory of management review files.)


Diversified Construction Materials

Conclusion and Recommendation I believe Mr. Mondale has erred in his response to these findings. These findings of fact cannot and should not be dismissed. It is true that the product has met Federal minimum guidelines, however well intentioned he may be in his analysis and assessment of the study, I am of the opinion that it is a ‘disaster waiting to happen.’ Therefore, it is my recommendation that this information be further studied and analyzed prior to launching this product to our widespread customer base. It is fully understood that a delay in product launch will come at a great cost to the company, not to mention possible backlash from investors and those who have already placed orders in anticipation of the December launch date. Our product, while initially a viable solution to our recent economic crunch, has the potential to create a substantial if not catastrophic chain of events. The above scenario will pale in comparison to this should future research conclude that our product has or could pose significant health risks to [potentially] hundreds of thousands of people. DCM needs to take the extra time to thoroughly obtain and analyze all findings to eliminate any potential risks that would occur should we allow money to become a factor over safety. It is the right thing to do for the common good.

Diversified Construction Materials

Legal vs Ethical  

WP4 ENG2151 Prof Ashlee Brand

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