Designing Cost-Effective Products


Fiero, Janet D.; Birch, William A.   (1989, ASQC)   Improving Engineering Effectiveness, Inc., Scottsdale, AZ; Motorola Inc., Mesa, AZ

Annual Quality Congress, Toronto, Ontario, Canada    Vol. 43    No. 0
QICID: 3648    May 1989    pp. 725-730
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Article Abstract

Quality improvement is dependent on accurate and timely feedback; however, seldom-occurring processes like New Product Development (NPD) may not have timely feedback. Designing cost-effective products requires that learning occur from past mistakes and that it be transferred to the next iteration of the seldom-occurring process. Cost, quality, and time goals must also be balanced to meet the customer's needs and the company's goals. Successful designs allow manufacturing to achieve optimal results in terms of quality and reliability, maximized yield, short cycle times and lower costs.

This paper outlines a structured, proactive Seven-Step Method aimed at improving the quality of the processes which generate new products. This method evolved from the NPD experience documented here and other research. The seven steps are:

  • Step 1 Identify New Product Development (NPD) process to be investigated and its boundaries.
  • Step 2 Analyze the inputs and outputs of each functional area involved with the NPD process.
  • Step 3 Develop a map of how the process currently operates.
  • Step 4 Identify the customer requirements and your own requirements from your supplier.
  • Step 5 Assess and analyze variance between what the customer wants and what you are supplying.
  • Step 6 Develop a map of how the process should be operating.
  • Step 7 Develop an action plan to address the variances between what is and what should be.
A case study spanning four years, 1984-1988, will be traced to show the trials and tribulations of one design engineering organization within Motorola, Inc., as they attempted to improve their ability to design cost-effective products. This department designs TTL and Low-Power Shotkey integrated circuits within the Standard Logic Division of Motorola's Semiconductor Sector. Due to short product life cycles this division's growth depended on introducing many new products, as well as manufacturing them.

The first quality improvement project in 1984 dealt with reducing the number of prototypes fabricated before one performed successfully. This became known as their first-pass success rate. After improving the first-pass success rate significantly, a second improvement project aimed at reducing NPD cycle time was undertaken in 1987. The first project involved only the design engineers, and the scope was limited to the design process only. The second project was expanded to the entire NPD process and it included 10 different functional areas.


Electronics industry,Case study

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