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 QFD Institute Newsletter . A quality chart and QFD artifact from an early QFD case study 
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Professor Hisakazu Shindo of the University of Yamanashi in Japan recently sent to us a photo of an old-fashioned automotive headlamp (below).

The German-made headlamp is an invaluable artifact in the history of QFD. It was a part of a case study in which pioneering Japanese QFD researchers, in collaboration with Hino Motors and Koito Manufacturing Co., illustrated specific methods on how the Quality Function Deployment method could be applied to development of an automotive part.

An early quality chart example

The case study was first reported in 1977 in the 11th Research Committee Report by the Japanese Academy of Quality Control and later published in "QFD: Customer-driven Approach to Quality Planning Deployment" (1978 in Japanese; 1994 in English; Mizuno and Akao, ed.).

It explained the quality table (quality matrix) and how to create one, why this table was superior in product development than the previously used fishbone diagrams, and most of all, the process of deploying the customer-demanded quality into the subsystems and individual component parts, so that engineers could assure building the customer-required quality into the product design... well before it hit the manufacturing stage.

Here is a brief summary of the case study and quality chart that was created at the time (the downloadable PDF file below).

Subsystem Deployment

The customer verbatim such as 'the headlamp is bright enough to see well' were collected and analyzed in multiple phases to discover latest customer requirements. For example, the primary customer requirement 'bright enough to see well' was translated into secondary customer requirements such as 'I can see distant objects well,' 'I can see close objects well,' 'I can see well even under adverse conditions,' and so on.

For each secondary item, tertiary analysis was done. This led to more detailed translation of the customer- demanded quality, such as 'I can see distant objects well', ' broad beam,' 'light does not scatter,' etc.

These demanded qualities were then juxtaposed with physical design characteristics of the headlamp such as flux distribution, headlamp life, safety, and so forth which were called Quality Characteristics or Substitute Characteristics. Again, each Quality Characteristic is defined by secondary and tertiary quality characteristics. 'Flux distribution,' for example, may have such secondary items as 'flux distribution value' and 'flux of light' and such tertiary quality characteristics as 'flux distribution value,' 'lens size,' 'low beam and high beam,' 'transmissivity, 'voltage,' etc.

By juxtaposing the customer-demanded product qualities (far left column) with engineering specifications, you can now see not only the relationship between the customer-demanded qualities and quality characteristics, but also which quality characteristics are more important to achieving a particular demanded quality, and thus which engineering specs are more important for the particular product being developed.

For example, 'broad beam' was found strongly related to the 'flux distribution value.' From here, the product develop team can set appropriate characteristics values (engineering specs) in accordance to the defined priority and goals for the particular product.

Quality Chart and Subsystems Deployment (PDF file) »

"QFD: Customer-driven Approach to Quality Planning Deployment"

Further deployment to component part level such as electric bulb, filament, shade, metal base, terminal, etc. are documented in "QFD: Customer-driven Approach to Quality Planning Deployment" (1978 in Japanese; 1994 in English; Mizuno and Akao, ed.).

Although this book is currently out of print, the QFD Institute was able to obtain a limited number of copies for attendees of the 2003 Symposium.

If you wish to order this book, please contact us below. We might be able to arrange a similar deal with the publisher again, depending on the demand.

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