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Stefan Schurr, Craig T. Smith

Using Comprehensive QFD Including Function, Reliability and Cost as the Backbone for a Design For Six Sigma Strategy

Track: A3

Abstract: With New Product Development (NPD) increasingly subject to fierce, global competition, accelerating pace of change and massive technology shifts, competitive realities require new paradigms. Innovation and radically new designs are replacing gradual improvement of well-understood technology in an increasing number of industries. The problem is that typical new designs still perform only in the 2-3 Sigma range.
Six Sigma has been described as the single most important change in corporate culture by its early adopters like GE, providing enormous bottom-line benefits through analysis and control of both established and new processes. Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) performs the logical step of introducing Six Sigma in New Product Development. It provides a set of design tools and methodologies for improving product, process and service development to consistently provide reliable and manufacturable products, processes and services that consistently meet customer requirements at six sigma quality levels.
As a method for structured product planning and development, Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is seen as a natural part of most DFSS strategies helping to specify a product's critical-to-quality characteristics based on the customer's wants and needs. However, many DFSS strategies fall short of providing the rigor and traceability that would be needed by limiting QFD to the House of Quality or a linear cascade of houses.
Here, a comprehensive QFD approach is described covering critical-to-quality characteristics (CTQs), functions, cost, faults and innovation for use with Design For Six Sigma. A system of 15 matrices integrates and links QFD with Six Sigma Scorecards, TRIZ, Experiment Planning, Functional Analysis, Target Costing, New Concept Selection and Matrix-based FMEA.
Using a conventional Voice of the Customer Table (VOCT) or House of Quality, needs are listed and correlated to CTQs, functions, and faults. Estimated and required performance levels for CTQs are then compared in the Six Sigma Scorecard, providing a first feedback on expected reliability early in the process. The scorecard enables stakeholders to track defect levels and facilitates subsequent dialog to improve the performance. TRIZ is used to help find new solutions for design optimisation conflicts from QFD "roof" matrix of contradictions and the Six Sigma Scorecard. To provide a solution-independent problem description functions are analysed using Value Analysis, FAST and AHP. A Target Costing Scorecard is set up to identify and prioritise areas for improvement based on cost and value. New ideas are evaluated using New Concept Selection, and based on the parts-functions matrix a FMEA is created for the system being designed. To help the team using a common representation and toolset, the FMEA is created in matrix format. The overall goal is to add enough controls to the planning process to discover, control and eliminate any risks that may prevent the product from performing at the targeted six sigma quality level.
By constructing an interrelated system of matrices documenting relationships between needs and solutions QFD is becoming a repository of product planning knowledge forming the central nervous system of DFSS. QFD and DFSS do not replace existing NPD processes, but add controls to ensure continually meeting customer requirements by providing the structure and rigor missing in other design methodologies.

Stefan Schurr is MD of Qualica Software GmbH, a privately owned software and consultancy firm based in Munich, Germany. Stefan holds a masters degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Technical University of Munich, Germany. Stefan's career has focused on New Product Development process improvement and optimisation through use of methodologies like QFD, helping companies to adopt QFD to shorten their development processes, reduce costs and create more competitive products. His company's software tools for comprehensive QFD are used by engineers and developers in companies from a wide range of industries, including automotive, aerospace, information technology and health care.

Craig T. Smith is VP of Rath & Strong, a Division of Aon Consulting. He received his Bachelors degree in Textile Technology and Management Studies with honours from the University of Leeds, England. He also holds a Masters degree from the engineering faculty of the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Craig was professionally certified as a Quality Engineer by the American Society of Quality Control.
His career has been characterised by the philosophy of "Sustained Business Results by Process Improvement and Optimisation". Over a period of 20 years he has assisted businesses on 2 continents achieve improvement by the consistent application of this philosophy in the roles of - Operations and Technical Director, Group Quality Director, Managing Director and Consultant. In addition to being involved in the broader based business aspects of our European Consulting division, Craig, has been at the vanguard of our successful Six Sigma consulting business. His recent achievements include the support of breakthrough strategies that have delivered significant financial benefits - amounting to Millions of Euro - as a result of the effective deployment of the Six-Sigma Philosophy, Methodology, and Techniques in major companies.

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