Robustness Development and Reliability Growth: Value-Adding Strategies for New Products and Processes (Prentice Hall Six Sigma for Innovation and Growth Series)

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This book integrates key tools and processes into a comprehensive program for developing more robust and reliable technology-based products. Drawing on their extensive product development experience, the authors present a complete process for ensuring product performance throughout the entire lifecycle, from understanding customers’ needs through manufacturing and post-launch support.

The authors begin by presenting broad insights and high-level strategies for improving product quality. Next, they demonstrate how to implement robustness and reliability strategies that complement existing governance and decision processes. A section on tools and methods shows how to institutionalize best practices and apply them consistently. Finally, they tie strategies, decisions, and methods together through a case study project.

Product developers will learn how to

  • Understand critical drivers of value in technology products, including reliability and durability
  • Implement a process model and roadmap for improving reliability and robustness
  • Increase robustness early in development, leading to shorter cycle times in later phases
  • Improve the stability of production performance under stress conditions
  • Assess both organizational and process capabilities for delivering robust and reliable products
  • Understand and manage customer-driven requirements
  • Use tools including descriptive and inferential statistics and DOE-based empirical models

Managers will understand expectations for

  • Design concepts supported by rigorous analyses of alternatives
  • Products and processes delivering higher value to customers
  • Products with higher reliability and longer useful lives
  • Product processes with lower costs and higher capabilities
  • Development projects having shorter, more predictable cycle times

Readers are introduced to many thought leaders whose writings can be sources of further learning. This book is a valuable resource for anyone responsible for delivering reliable, profitable technology products, including general managers, program managers, engineers, scientists, and reliability and quality professionals.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

John P. King has made contributions as an engineer, program manager, and laboratory head during a long career in product development and commercialization. His responsibilities have ranged from upstream R&D projects through commercialization and product launch. At Westinghouse, Xerox, Kodak, and Heidelberg Druckmaschinen, John worked as an engineer and manager in developing a wide range of products, including turbo machinery, office products, and medical imaging systems.

As a consultant, mentor, and trainer, John has helped clients worldwide improve both business processes and products. He has worked with project teams for both large and small companies and has written and delivered training programs to clients, followed by project mentoring to ensure the successful completion of their objectives.

John is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Society for Quality, the American Statistical Association, and the Society of Reliability Engineers. He holds a BME from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, an MS in Engineering Mechanics from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from Northeastern University.

Bill S. Jewett is a consultant to businesses engaged in the development of new technologies and multidisciplined products. With insights into important paradigms and advancements in practices, he assists improvement teams in upgrading their engineering and management processes, project management strategies, cross-functional teamwork, and governance of their development projects.

For many years Bill worked for Eastman Kodak Company and Heidelberg Druckmaschinen with much of his focus on the development of high-volume electrophotographic copiers and printers. Among his division-level responsibilities were the management of product development projects and of competency centers for mechanical and systems engineering. At the corporate level he was one of the authors of the processes for advanced product planning, technology development, product commercialization, and their related governance. For over a decade he taught the processes and coached teams in their adaptation and implementation. As the process steward, he evolved the process models to incorporate lessons learned from internal practice and external benchmarking.

Bill participates frequently in the conferences of PDMA, Management Roundtable, and INCOSE. He holds a BSME from Swarthmore College and an MBA from the University of Rochester.

The home page for Mr. Jewett and Mr. King is

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Table of Contents

Preface xxi

Acknowledgments xxix

About the Authors xxxi

Section I: Critical Drivers of Value

Chapter 1: Time, Money, and Risks 3

Quality, Costs, and Schedules 4

Management of Process Improvements 7

Soft Causes of Poor Reliability and Durability 12

Key Points 20

Discussion Questions 20

Chapter 2: Reliability, Durability, and Robustness 21

Reliability as an Element of Value to Customers 22

Essential Elements of Reliability 23

The Taxonomy of a Failure 26

Reliability Metrics 29

The Anatomy of Quality Loss 33

The Reduction of Performance Variations 39

Key Points 44

Discussion Questions 44

Chapter 3: Strategies for Reliability Development 45

Are Better Strategies Important? 45

Strategies for Ongoing Processes 48

Strategies Specific to Product Development 51

Capabilities of the Organization 57

Key Points 63

Discussion Questions 63

Section II: Framework for Reliability Development

Chapter 4: A Process Model for Product Development 67

What Is a Product Development Process? 67

Integration of Key Development Principles 71

A Process Model for Product Development 76

Advanced Product-Planning Process 77

Technology Development Process 79

Product Development Process 81

Older versus Better Methods 98

Key Points 100

Discussion Questions 100

Chapter 5: Road Map for Reliability Development 103

Build a Compelling Case for Your Reliability Project 103

Linking Activities to the Product Development Phases 104

Key Initiatives of a Reliability Development Project 104

The Role of Testing 116

Key Points 119

Discussion Questions 119

Chapter 6: Effective Decisions 121

Qualities of a Good Decision-Making Process 122

Types of Project Reviews 132

Key Points 144

Discussion Questions 145

Chapter 7: Robustness Development for Product Designs 147

Technology and Product Development 147

Functional Diagram 150

Stressful Conditions 151

Parallel Development of Products and Processes 155

Robustness Development 158

Examples of Robustness Development 162

Robust Design 165

Robustness Development Fixtures 167

Key Points 168

Discussion Questions 169

Chapter 8: Reliability Growth and Testing 171

Product Testing 172

Reliability Growth Testing 174

Drivers of Reliability Growth Rate 181

Accelerated Tests 183

Understanding Stress versus Strength 185

Tools and Systems That Support Testing 190

Overview of Various Types of Tests 196

Key Points 197

Discussion Questions 197

Section III: Tools and Methods Supporting Reliability Development

Chapter 9: Understanding and Managing Customer-Driven Requirements 201

Objectives for Product Development 202

Types of Requirements 203

How Requirements Affect Project Success 206

How Requirements Flow Down 213

VOC Activities Vary Throughout the Development Process 214

The Major Steps in Requirements Gathering 215

Processing and Analyzing Interview Data 221

Key Elements of Requirements Management 227

How Can Your Requirements Efforts Fail? 228

Key Points 229

Discussion Questions 230

Additional Reading 230

Additional Authors Worth Following 230

Chapter 10: Quality Function Deployment 231

What Is Quality Function Deployment? 231

Expected Benefits of QFD 233

The Structure of QFD 234

Sequence of Matrices 244

The QFD Team 245

Suggestions to Improve the Facilitation of QFD 246

Key Points 247

Discussion Questions 248

Further Reading 248

Chapter 11: Concept Generation and Selection 249

Decisions in Product Development 249

Concept Generation and Selection 250

Process Guidance 256

Teamwork 259

Key Points 260

Discussion Questions 260

Chapter 12: Axiomatic Design 261

Axiomatic Design 262

Improvement of Design Concepts 272

System Decomposition 274

A Familiar Example 279

Key Points 282

Discussion Questions 282

Chapter 13: Tools to Reduce Risks 285

Project Team Meetings for Risk Reduction 285

Useful Tools Provide Valuable Benefits 286

Risk Analyses 289

Matrix Analyses 294

Flowcharts 296

Tree Analyses 301

Key Points 307

Discussion Questions 307

Further Reading 307

Chapter 14: Descriptive Statistics 309

Why Do You Need Statistics? 309

Graph the Data First 310

Descriptive Statistics 322

The Normal Distribution 325

Key Points 329

Discussion Questions 329

Chapter 15: Inferential Statistics 331

Questions You Need Statistics to Help Answer 331

Population versus Samples 332

The Power of Averaging 333

Making Comparisons and Assessing Progress 335

Hypothesis Testing, Confidence Intervals, and p-Values 339

Equivalence Testing 364

Some Concerns with Significance Tests 368

Key Points 369

Discussion Questions 370

Chapter 16: Building Models Using ANOVA and Regression 371

Uncovering Relationships and Proving Cause and Effect 371

Empirical Models 375


Model Building Using Regression 380

Summary 391

Key Points 392

Discussion Questions 393

Chapter 17: Building Empirical Models Using DOE 395

Overview of DOE 395

Important Questions to Answer before an Experiment 400

Important Questions to Answer after Running the Experiment 404

Some Important Considerations 406

Types of Experiments 409

Sequential Approach to Experimentation 412

A Simple Example 412

Key Points 414

Discussion Questions 415

Chapter 18: Developing System Robustness Using DOE 417

Using System Models and Noise to Improve Robustness 417

Robustness Optimization of the Machining Process 421

Additional Options for Optimization 426

Key Points 429

Discussion Questions 429

Chapter 19: Robustness Optimization Using Taguchi’s Methods 431

Taguchi’s Contributions to Robust Design 431

Building a Detailed Model versus Improving System Robustness 433

Signal-to-Noise Ratio (S/N) 437

Example Problem 440

Key Points 452

Discussion Questions 454

Chapter 20: Tolerance Optimization 455

The Tolerance Design Problem 455

Controlling Variability 458

How Do Tolerances Affect Product Performance? 459

Steps for Tolerance Design 462

Tolerances and the Cost of Quality 464

Analysis of Tolerance Stacks 466

Optimization of Functional Responses 474

Key Points 477

Discussion Questions 477

Chapter 21: Reliability Functions and Life Distributions 479

Fundamental Reliability Functions 479

Useful Life Distributions 483

Key Points 493

Discussion Questions 494

Chapter 22: Life Data and Their Implications 495

Sources of Life Data 495

Competing Failure Modes, Mixtures of Life Distributions, and the Importance of Failure Analysis 496

Preventive Maintenance of Repairable Systems 499

Fitting a Life Distribution to a Data Set 501

Accelerated Life Testing (ALT) 506

Mixed Failures from Time and Actuations 510

Key Points 512

Discussion Questions 512

Section IV: Integration of Framework and Methods

Chapter 23: Critical Parameter Management 515

CPM and the Domains of Product Development 515

Linking Customer Satisfaction and Critical Parameters 519

Assessing Difficulty 522

Assessing Importance 525

Critical Parameters and Risk 528

Critical Parameter Measurement 531

CPM: A Process for Creating, Using, and Maintaining Information 532

Key Points 532

Discussion Questions 533

Chapter 24: An Illustration of Process Methods and Tools 535

Advanced Product Planning 536

Product Development 538

Epilogue 559

Chapter 25: Balancing Schedules, Budgets, and Business Risks 561

Ongoing Attention to Product Development Capabilities 563

Be a Student of the Process 572

Glossary 573

Bibliography 585

Index 593

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