QFD's Evolution in Japan and the West

Abstract:Although the theory of quality originated in the United States, early industrial applications predominantly took place in Japan. Yoji Akao conceived quality function deployment (QFD), a concept that is a vital management tool for new product development. In the past, Western QFD basically followed the model of Japanese QFD. However, the development of the current third generation QFD in Japan and the West can be considered a change in directions. The current Japanese QFD, known as real-time database QFD, is based on narrowly defined QFD. Western QFD is now combined with TRIZ, Kano analysis, and the Taguchi method, and is used by Six Sigma practitioners. QFD must become an integrated quality assurance framework that can be concurrently implemented within the product development process, not as merely a series of matrices. When implemented through a more process-oriented approach, QFD will add real value to a new product development system and result in more systematic …

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