Tools And Approaches In Product Development Viz: Quality Function Deployment, Design For Manufacturability, Design For Assembly, Design For Quality, Mass Customization.
- Quality Function Deployment
QFD (quality function deployment) is defined as a method for developing a design quality aiming at satisfying the consumer and then translating the consumer’s demand into design targets and major quality assurance points to be used throughout the production phase. QFD is a way to assure the design quality while the product is still in the design stage (Akao, 1990) . From this definition, QFD can be seen as a process where the consumer’s voice is valued to carry through the whole process of production and services.
QFD consists of two components which are deployed into the design process: quality and function. The ” quality deployment” component brings the costumer’s voice into the design process. The “function deployment” component links different organizational functions and units into to the design-to-manufacturing transition via the formation of design teams. (Lockamy & Khurana, 1995) 
- History of QFD
QFD was invented in Japan by Yoji Akao in 1966, but was first implemented in the Mitsubishi’s Kobe shipyard in 1972, possibly out of the teaching of Deming. Then later it was adopted and developed by other Japanese companies, notably Toyota and its suppliers.
In the USA the first serious exponents of QFD were the ‘big three’ automotive manufacturers in the 1980’s, and a few leading companies in other sectors such as electronics. However, the uptake of QFD in the Western world appears to have been fairly slow. There is also some reluctance among users of QFD to publish and share information – much more so than with other quality-related methodologies. This may be because the data captured and the decisions made using QFD usually relate to future product plans, and are therefore sensitive, proprietary, and valuable to competitors. (Hutton, 1997) 
- Processes of QFD
According to Lockamy and Khurana (1995) , the idea of QFD is timing, performance evaluation, and resource commitment. And the four phases of QFD are:
- Product concept planning. It starts with customers and market research with leads to product plans, ideas, sketches, concept models, and marketing plans.
- Product development and specification. It would lead to the development to prototypes and tests.
- Manufacturing processes and production tools. They are designed based on the product and component specifications.
- Production of product. It starts after the pilot have been resolved
After the products have been marketed, the customer’s voice is taken again.
- Benefits of QFD
According to Don Clausing, the author of Total Quality Development book, pointed out that the QFD has been evolved by product development people in response to the major problems in the traditional processes, which were:
- Disregard the voice of customer
- Disregard the competition
- Concentration on each specification in isolation
- Low expectations
- Little input from design and production people into product planning
- Divergent interpretation of the specifications
- Lack of structure
- Lost information
- Weak commitment to previous decisions
- Tools of QFD
Matrix diagrams, which are very useful to organize the data collected, help to facilitate the improvement process. They can be used to display information about the degree to which employee expectations are being met and the resources that exist to meet those expectations. The structure in which QFD uses to organize information is known as the House of Quality.
In its broadest sense, the QFD House of Quality displays the relationship between dependent (WHATS) and independent (HOWS) variables (Woods, 1994) . Figure 1 shows the typical House of Quality.
This House of Quality should be created by a team of people with first-hand knowledge of both company capabilities and the expectations of the employee. Effective use of QFD requires team participation and discipline inherent in the practice of QFD, which has proven to be an excellent team-building experience.
Figure 1- The Typical House of Quality.
- DESIGN FOR MANUFACTURABILITY
Design for manufacturability (also sometimes known as design for manufacturing or DFM) is the general engineering practice of designing products in such a way that they are easy to manufacture. The concept exists in almost all engineering disciplines, but the implementation differs widely depending on the manufacturing technology. DFM describes the process of designing or engineering a product in order to facilitate the manufacturing process in order to reduce its manufacturing costs. DFM will allow potential problems to be fixed in the design phase which is the least expensive place to address them. Other factors may affect the manufacturability such as the type of raw material, the form of the raw material, dimensional tolerances, and secondary processing such as finishing.
Depending on various types of manufacturing processes there are set guidelines for DFM practices. These DFM guidelines help to precisely define various tolerances, rules and common manufacturing checks related to DFM.
While DFM is applicable to the design process, a similar concept called DFSS (Design for Six Sigma) is also practiced in many organizations.
- DESIGN FOR ASSEMBLY
Design for assembly (DFA) is a process by which products are designed with ease of assembly in mind. If a product contains fewer parts it will take less time to assemble, thereby reducing assembly costs. In addition, if the parts are provided with features which make it easier to grasp, move, orient and insert them, this will also reduce assembly time and assembly costs. The reduction of the number of parts in an assembly has the added benefit of generally reducing the total cost of parts in the assembly. This is usually where the major cost benefits of the application of design for assembly occur.
- DESIGN FOR QUALITY
Quality is the most effective factor a company can use in the battle for customers.
To be competitive, we must satisfy the customer. In order to be more competitive, we must delight the customer. Quality is defined here as the measure of customer delightment. Note that customer satisfaction is a region on the scale of customer delightment. To delight the customer, we must design for quality.
It provides the philosophy and driving force for designing for quality. Total Quality Control provides the implementation. The concepts are elegant. If quality is made the global driving force, then the customers will obtain the best value possible and use your product. This maximizes profit by focusing on increased revenue. If you also design for minimum cost you will increase profit further. To accomplish these goals you must develop tools which give you the competitive edge in designing for quality and cost.
- MASS CUSTOMIZATION
Mass customization is the process of delivering wide-market goods and services that are modified to satisfy a specific customer need. Mass customization is a marketing and manufacturing technique that combines the flexibility and personalization of custom-made products with the low unit costs associated with mass production. Mass customization products may also be referred to as made to order or built to order.
Mass customization is the new frontier in business for both manufacturing and service industries. At its core is a tremendous increase in variety and customization without a corresponding increase in costs. At its limit, it is the mass production of individually customized goods and services. At its best, it provides strategic advantage and economic value
Mass customization is the method of “effectively postponing the task of differentiating a product for a specific customer until the latest possible point in the supply network”