What is QFD?
Quality function deployment (QFD) is a LEAN technique that is useful for Six Sigma Black Belt practitioners. It is a valuable quality tool that helps in designing products or processes based on customer requirements. QFD can determine and organize customer needs and translate them into technical product design. Once the customer expectations are determined, the tool can link the ‘voice of the customers’ to the internal processes. It is not just a quality tool, but also a powerful planning tool.
“Quality Function Deployment is a technique of conveying and planning the customer requirements into the quality and design characteristics of products or processes for reaching customer satisfaction.” – Kaveri Pathak, Quality Control Manager.
Benefits of QFD
Every company has customers – internal, external or both. When you have to determine how to satisfy your customers, quality function deployment serves as crucial tool. QFD is a customer-driven methodology for effectively identifying and gathering and customer requirements and then addressing those demands. The 6 benefits of deploying this tool are:
Benefit#1: Quality Function Deployment is a process for designing and planning customer-focussed products or services.
Benefit#2: QFD is a system that methodically translates customer needs into design specifications.
Benefit#3: It can prioritize specifications and make decisions according to customer requirements.
Benefit#4: QFD allows various departements within a company to particitpate in the design and planning process.
Benefit#5: It is good quality function tool that reduces product development time and cuts time to market.
Benefit#6: The tool can be used to document the entire decision-making process.“QFD reduces the design changes and curbs start-up and manufacturing costs. It reduces rework, saves times and improves quality.” – Suman Nag, Six Sigma Practitioner.
How to use?
The QFD template is also called as the “the house of quality” matrix that serves as a graphical representation of the planning process for designing a flawless product. The template is based on a structured approach that applies planning and management tools to listen to and prioritize customer expectations effectively. The design engineers usually start with planning and follow 4 steps to gain a better understanding of the process quality and control. The steps are as follows:
Step#1: Product Planning
Practitioners identify characteristics that meet customer needs. They analyze business opportunities and determine critical target using QFD tool.
Step#2: Component Deployment The critical components and assembly elements are identified using the prioritized design characteristics and target values are established.
Step#3: Process Planning At this point, crucial process requirements and components are determined using the prioritized elements and crucial process parameters are established.
Step#4: Quality Control The practitioners can prioritize the process control parameters and techniques and establish production methods that support the process elements prioritized earlier. Each step in the four-step approach is related to the previous step. Once completed, Six Sigma practitioners can apply the information gained to design better products or processes that meet customer requirements and target values.
Conclusion“The main objective of Six Sigma is to produce products or processes that meet customer requirements. Quality function deployment is a helpful tool to design processes that deliver products that satisfy the customer.”
– Kounal Gupta, CEO, Henry Harvin Education.
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Quality Function Deployment is a tool, which helps in understanding customer’s requirement and translate them into technical product design, and plans to help in fulfilling customer’s requirement. It affects the vertical line of a manufacturing process which are assembly level, sub-assembly level, component and production processes.
In today’s market customer is a king, to keep pace with the changing need’s and everchanging trend QFD helps an organization in aligning multiple business operations including design, quality, manufacturing, production, marketing and sales, to work towards achieving the perceived value of a customer.
1. It helps in developing customer -focussed products or service.
2. It methodically translates customer needs into design specifications.
3. It allows various departments within a company to participate in the design and planning process.
4. It helps in reducing product development time.
Product planning: The practitioners identify characteristics that meet customer needs. Component Deployment: The critical components and assembly elements are identified and target values are established. Process planning: By using the prioritized elements, process parameters are established. Quality control: Before the production launch, Process parameters are determined and appropriate process controls are developed and implemented.
TIP of the Day: The FMEA tool can be used to improve the reliability of products and processes, prevent costly last-minute design changes, and increase customer satisfaction.