ASQ - Statistics Division

The Future of Quality Technology: From a Manufacturing to a Knowledge Economy & from Defects to Innovations – 2005 Youden Address

Abstract: The importance of manufacturing in our economy is reducing while knowledge-based operations and services are increasing. The result is that innovation is a key element of organizational performance. Innovation comprises the complete process of development and eventual commercialization of new products and services, new methods of production or provision, new methods of transportation or service delivery, new business models, new markets and new forms of organization. The Address distinguishes between breakthrough innovation (a entirely new product or service), and incremental innovation (making a process or product continuously better), and the Address states that we must consider both types of innovation in our quality efforts. The traditional view of quality is compatible with innovation because reducing deficiencies from processes are process innovations that give a firm a competitive advantage. But quality must also focus on product innovations that involve new features, and developing new products or services that provide better value to the customers. This can be thought of as Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) in a Six Sigma context. The Address discusses the implications for quality technology. These implications include both application areas and tools and methods.

Keywords: Innovation - Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) - Statistical process control - Reliability - Response surface - Principal components - Discriminant analysis - Regression - Factor analysis

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