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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A Brief Summary of QFD

7.6 Summary
Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a systematic process for translating customer requirements into appropriate company requirements at each stage from research and product development to engineering and manufacturing to market/sales and distribution. QFD is a complement to the System Engineering process. The principles of system engineering using QFD span the entire life cycle of a product.  QFD is not a quality tool to audit functional organizations, but is a structured planning tool to guide and direct the product development process.
·         Is a systematic means of ensuring that the demands of the customer and the market place are accurately translated into products and/or services.  
·         Provides both a planning tool and a process methodology in a structured approach.  
·         Identifies the most important product characteristics.    
·         Provides a comprehensive tracking tool and communication medium when applied to all stages of product development.   
·         Applies a cross functional team approach combining information and expertise from marketing, sales, design engineering and manufacturing.
The QFD process leads the participants through a detailed thought process, pictorially documenting their work. The graphic and integrated thinking that results leads to the preservation of technical knowledge; minimizing the knowledge loss from retirements or other organizational changes. This use of QFD helps transfer knowledge to new employees, starting them higher on the learning curve. The use of QFD charts results in a large amount of knowledge captured and accumulated in one place. The charts provide an audit trail of the decisions made by the project team. Once a QFD project has been completed, the resulting charts may be used as a starting point for future versions, (a “re-engineering starting point”) for similar products.
Again, QFD is a method; it is not a panacea, it must be done correctly and it takes up front time and resources to get the best possible results.

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