Quality Function Deployment – (QFD) => 5 Minute Read

So, WHAT is QFD and WHY is it needed?   We hope you will find the following answers to both those questions with this blog from our industry Expert.

QFD methodology is a systemic, proven means of embedding the Voice of the Customer (VOC) into all aspects of the business where value added effort is needed to be competitive in the marketplace. This tool is adaptable at any stage of a company’s product and/or process development.

The Quality Function Deployment is a prescribed approach to ensure a defined customer/end user requirement is managed correctly through the product and process development cycle. Basically, the Customer wants/needs (the WHAT) is translated to the Process (the HOW) to produce a customer compliant Product.

The purpose of Quality Function Deployment is to support the design and improve an organization’s business processes, (i.e., sales strategy, design for manufacture, optimizing training programs, etc.).  QFD is a method of ensuring customer requirements are accurately translated into relevant technical/process specifications from product definition to product design, process development and through the implementation process.

From world class manufacturers & OEM’s (Original Equipment Manufacturers), success on doing it right the first time is based on a robust QMS/QFD environment.  As you continue to read, we are confident that you will have a realization and perhaps a self recollection of “ah, that’s why or, that is what we didn’t do because we simply were not aware of the process”.

LYNXBMG can engage with your team to support the following:

  • VOC is translated into product technical specifications throughout product design into the manufacturing process where design specifications are identified and control in production.
  • VOC Competitor Analysis is a direct comparison of product design with the competitors. This analysis may provide insight to product design and/or process development which will enable a competitive advantage.
  • Shorter development time and lower costs by focusing on critical product features and improvements base on customer requirements. Applied correctly, QFD will prevent time spent on non-value-added features or functions.
  • Structure and Documentation for decision made and lessons learned during the product development process which are beneficial for future product improvements.
  • Improve communication between Engineering, Marketing, Sales, Manufacturing, Quality, etc. with respect to Customers’ needs.
  • Improve project management execution with a clear, agreed upon, and well documented product definition.
  • Risk assessments to identify areas of risk and track mitigation through each of the QFD areas

The process of training and coaching is iterative involving task assignment and virtual sessions.  The aim is to set a solid workable foundation to get the process properly launched.  This is where you need a kick start with experienced experts.

Providing further context to the subject;  QFD Implementation phases are listed below for a better understanding and for which our expertise with your team’s support will drive positive value add results to support your long-term product & business plans.

 1) Design Requirement/ Definition Phase

    • Coach, and train your employees on the House of Quality analysis.
    • Translate the customer wants and needs into product or service design characteristics utilizing a relationship matrix.
    • Cross functional team engagement. (Engineering, Manufacturing, Sales, Supply Chain, Quality and Operations)

The House of Quality in a product development process will identify the relationship between the customer wants or “Whats” and the design parameters or “Hows”.

In order to effectively complete a QFD the minimum required is;

  • A cross-functional team possessing thorough knowledge of the product/process,
  • The Voice of the Customer (VOC) data and,
  • A good understanding of the company’s current capabilities.

Upon completion, the high-level technical requirements derived from the VOC we can then cascade this information to the appropriate teams within the organization and populated the Level 2 QFDs for more detailed analysis. This is the first step in driving the VOC throughout the product or process design process.

2) Design Development Phase

    • In this phase, your team will discover which of the assemblies, systems, sub-systems, and components have the most impact on meeting the product design requirements and identify key design characteristics. The information produced from performing a Level 2 QFD is often used as a direct input to the Design Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (DFMEA) process / define risk in the design.

Level 2 QFDs may be developed at the following levels:

  • System
  • Sub-system
  • Component

3) Process Development Phase

    • The Process Development Phase is an examination of which of the processes or process steps have highest correlation to meeting the component or part specifications. In the Level 3 QFD matrix, the “Whats” are the component part technical specifications, and the “Hows” are the manufacturing processes or process steps involved in producing the part. The matrix highlights which of the processes or process steps have the most impact on meeting the part specifications. This information allows the production and quality teams to focus on the Critical to Quality (CTQ) processes, which flow down into the Level 4 QFD for further examination.

4) Process Quality Control Phase

    • Level 4 QFD, the team will be able to establish the critical process characteristics, the “Whats” and determine controls, the “Hows”  to ensure the correct controls are defined.  By ranking of the interactions of the “Whats” and the “Hows”, the team can determine which controls are most useful in achieving quality targets. This information may also be used for creating Work Instructions, Inspection Sheets or as an input to Control Plans.

Let us help you get ready for either existing under performing projects, or that new development program on your doorstep.  Remember – 80% of the life cycle product cost is embedded in the early stage of design to manufacture!  Let’s help you get it right at the beginning!

We hope you have found this article informative and should you wish to know more, please do not hesitate to contact Paul Violante at PViolante@LYNXBMG.com; www.lynxbmg.com

Lynx Business Management Group