METHODS AND TOOLS TO DEVELOP PRODUCTS AND PROCESSES

Read part 1 of this series and get an overview of this topic.

11 January 2019: Roman Wenig

Industrial production has ever since focused on the optimisation of processes. Together with quality assurance and controlling experts, engineers strive for quicker and more cost-efficient processes providing the highest level of quality.

Significant milestones are e.g. Total Quality Management, Lean Management, Theory of Constrains, Six Sigma or Business Excellence. Each of these strategies is based on a process-related approach. Sophisticated roadmaps arrange methods and tools along a timeline in a way that available resources help you perform the respective tasks in an optimal way. This also requires a truly effective project management, of course [...].

The optimisation of production processes is already on a high level since it has to meet increasing requirements and applies advanced and supporting methods and tools.

However, there are some open questions: Why do so many processes require extensive optimisation after their development? Why do we not succeed in designing processes in a way that they meet the requirements right from the start?

There are several reasons.

  1. Controlling does not become effective before products have been physically created. You do not count (physically available) rejects before then. The performance upstream processes (development and
    design) did not produce or delivered only insufficiently is hard to describe based on these figures.
  2. Developers and design engineers are suppliers and measurement system at the same time. The capability to assess the delivered performance (analogous to process capability) and the ability to assess this capability as “good” (analogous to measurement system analysis) always depend on the skills of the responsible staff members. The degree of stability and capability we expect from our production processes are not part of the strengths human beings possess....

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