Quality Function Deployment, QFD :: Overview Click here to go to the homepage
What is it?
First conceptualized in 1966 as a method or concept for new product development under the umbrella of Total Quality Control, hinshitsu tenkai (quality deployment) was developed by Dr. Shigeru Mizuno and Yoji Akao. Yoji Akao, et al detailed methods of quality deployment in 1972. The Japan Society of Quality Control formed a research group to specifically study Quality Function Deployment (QFD) in 1978. QFD is used to translate customer requirements to engineering specifications. It is a link between customers - design engineers - competitors - manufacturing. It provides an insight into the whole design and manufacturing operation from concept to manufacture and it can dramatically improve the efficiency as production problems are resolved early in the design phase.
Why is it important?
It is very powerful as it incorporates the voice of the customer in the designs - hence it is likely that the final product will be better designed to satisfy the customer's needs. Moreover, it provides an insight into the whole design and manufacturing operation (from concept to manufacture) and it can dramatically improve the efficiency as production problems are resolved early in the design phase.
When to use it?
QFD is applied in the early stages of the design phase so that the customer wants are incorporated into the final product. Furthermore it can be used as a planning tool as it identifies the most important areas in which the effort should focus in relation to our technical capabilities. Ask yourself these questions:
1. Why do QFD in this case?
2. What will the QFD be made of?
3. Is it the right tool at this time?
4. Is this the right place for implementation?
5. What is the goal and what is success?
6. Who all should we involve?
How to use it?
Comprehensive QFD may involve four phases:
1. Product Planning (House of Quality):
translate customer requirement into product technical requirements to meet them.
2. Product Design:
translate technical requirements to key part characteristics or systems
3. Process Planning:
identify key process operations necessary to achieve key part characteristics.
4. Production Planning (Process Control):
establish process control plans, maintenance plans, training plans to control operations.
linking these phases provides a mechanism to deploy the customer voice through to control of process operations.
Follow these steps:
1. Learn what each element represents
2. Form a multidisciplinary team. Obtain voice of the customer from market surveys, focus groups, observations, interviews. Identify customer requirements and ask customer to rate importance.
3. The development of the first issue of the charts is the most time consuming part. Conduct competitive analysis by customer requirement Establish a quality plan based on competitive analysis you would like to have for your future product.
Once this is completed regular reviews and updates require minimum time. Remember that the benefits from an appropriately developed QFD chart are very big compared with the effort - put focus on the issues that are important to the customer.
Benefits of QFD include better understanding of customer demands and design interactions; early manufacturing involvement during the design process reducing design iterations and focusing the design while fostering teamwork.
Food for Thought !
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