Hisakazu Shindo of the University of Yamanashi in Japan recently
sent to us a photo of an old-fashioned automotive headlamp
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
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
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,
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
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