Heidenreich, Paul; Rummler, Geary (1988, ASQC) Manufacturing Techniques, Inc., Scottsdale, AZ; Warren, NJ
To remain competitive, manufacturing businesses must supplement the current approach that resolves manufacturing problems by adding inspection steps and applying process control techniques. This new emphasis must include methods that address problems before they occur. The effort should go beyond manufacturing and include design, marketing, product support etc., in the early stages of product development. How well an organization does this is a measure of product manufacturability and is judged by the customer in terms of meeting product goals.
Manufacturability is defined as the ability to consistently and repeatedly satisfy product goals while meeting key business objectives like profitability. Product goals can be categorized into technical performance, quality, reliability, availability and cost requirements. Traditionally, design engineers have focused on technical performance of products and not on any other manufacturability considerations. Similarly, marketers have focused on market demands, product support engineers on fixing field problems and financial analysts on product costs; all very important factors, particularly with respect to their individual functions. However, these views are all very parochial and give little consideration to overall product manufacturability. This paper focuses on why this breakdown occurs and what obstacles lead to continued manufacturability problems. It shows that, although techniques such as design and marketing guidelines around Cp issues, and applied statistical tools are helpful, the system interfaces between functions in the manufacturing process must also be managed. This paper identifies the manufacturability system and defines its key interfaces (supplier-customer relationships). Manufacturability measures are identified. These measures then gauge how well the interfaces are operating. A management process for improving manufacturability is outlined and a simple decision making guideline to support the process is presented. In summary, the paper shows that insuring product manufacturability requires going beyond inspection and control. This necessitates management of the manufacturing system at all levels and not as independent functions. In turn, it's required to have a management process that defines the manufacturability system (inputs, outputs, feedback requirements), identifies key interfaces and establishes manufacturability measures with controls to realize continuous improvement.