20, 1998 Design News
Do you design manufacturing?
Paul E. Teague Chief Editor
As two separate stories in this issue on international
technology describe it, Japan has shown the U.S. the
importance of design for manufacturing. It saves time
and money and can lead to higher quality.
Naturally, design for manufacturing isn't the most
important thing in engineering. Innovation is critical
for success as well. But if the factory can't make the
product, you limit your success potential.
But how do you measure whether you are really designing
successfully for manufacturing? For that matter, how
do you measure whether you are leveraging the entire
supply chain as you design products? International consulting
firm Six Sigma has a way.
The firm has developed a questionnaire for engineers
to guide their thinking process in product development.
Here are a few of the questions, and possible answers.
Choose one answer for each.
Prior to bringing a product to market, you can:
Estimate the costs of raw material and assembly
Estimate factory yields and potential warranty
Predict total product life cycle costs and potential
When assigning part tolerances, you:
Copy the tolerance block from a previous drawing.
Match the tolerance to the manufacturer's capability.
Your product manufacturing process:
Is defined by the manufacturing organization.
Uses concurrent engineering practices.
Is jointly designed with the product.
Manufacturing cycle time is:
Determined by the factory.
Affected by part design.
Is a design requirement.
5. Your design engineers:
A. Have been given specifications to design against.
B. Know the use of environment and have received
input from the marketing department.
C. Have met customers and understand their quality,
cost, and volume needs.
If you chose C in each case, Six Sigma says you are
leveraging the entire supply chain.
How do you measure your own design success?