New Product Development: Product Design (APQP-Phase 2)

New Product Development: Product Design (APQP-Phase 2)

“Our role is to imagine products that don’t exist and guide them to life.” – Apple designer Christopher Stringer

We design our lives in the way we think is right and implement it. A carpenter first visualizes the final product and then create its design and later manufacture it. A city planner understands the expectations of the society, designs a new city accordingly and make it into reality. New product design is something similar in nature.

In the product design process, the key intent is to understand all the input requirements like the voice of the customer, benchmark data, preliminary bill of material & process flow chart and convert them into feasible product design. It should be able to meet the customer volume, quality, investment cost, timing target and other relevant requirements.
The output of product Design phases becomes a key input for the process design phase. The success of the next phase will entirely depend upon the systematic planning and implementation of the product design process.

As per IATF 16949, clause 3.0, following are some of the key definitions related to the design process

Advanced product quality planning (APQP): product quality planning process that supports the development of a product or service that will satisfy customer requirements; APQP serves as a guide in the development process and also a standard way to share results between organizations and their customers; APQP covers design robustness, design testing and specification compliance, production process design, quality inspection standards, process capability, production capacity, product packaging, product testing and operator training plan, among other items.

Design for assembly (DFA): the process by which products are designed with ease of assembly considerations. (e.g. if a product contains fewer parts it will take less time to assemble, thereby reducing assembly costs).

Design for manufacturing (DFM): integration of product design and process planning to design a product that is easily and economically manufactured.

Design for manufacturing and assembly (DFMA): a combination of two methodologies: Design for Manufacture (DFM), which is the process of optimizing the design to be easier to produce, have higher throughput, and improved quality; and Design for Assembly (DFA), which is the optimization of the design to reduce risk of error, lowering costs, and making it easier to assemble.

Design for six sigma (DFSS): systematic methodology, tools, and techniques with the aim of being a robust design of products or processes that meets customer expectations and can be produced at a six-sigma quality level.

Design-responsible organization: organization with authority to establish a new, or change an existing, product specification. NOTE: This responsibility includes testing and verification of design performance within the customer’s specified application.

Trade-off curves: tool to understand and communicate the relationship of various design characteristics of a product to each other; a product’s performance on one characteristic is mapped on the Y-axis and another on the X-axis. Then a curve is plotted to illustrate product performance relative to the two characteristics.

Customer Specific Requirements (CSR) of IATF subscribing OEM
Following are their key requirements
Special Characteristics: MBST 13/18, section 5, paragraph 3 + 7
PPAP: MBST 13/18 complete Production Process and Product Approval (PPA)
Design and development changes – supplemental: MBST 13/18, section 4 MBST 13/18, section 5
Design & Development: SQ.00010 Advance Quality Planning (AQP) and PPAP
Embedded Software: assessment of software process capability/maturity: as per CS.00187
PPAP: GM 1927-03 Quality SOR

Detailed Information

As per IATF 16949, Clause 8.3 and APQP manual (Advance Product Quality Planning- 2nd edition, July 2008), there are 5 key phases. They are
1. Plan and define the program
2. Product design and development verification
3. Process design and development verification
4. Product and process validation
5. Feedback, assessment and corrective action

During the product design phase, understanding the product design skill of the involved personnel is important so that product design can be done effectively. The organization should identify the key competencies needed like awareness and proficiency in software like CAD, CATIA etc.
As per APQP manual, 2nd edition, following are some of the key inputs (which are output from planning phase)
– Design Goals
– Reliability and Quality Goals
– Preliminary Bill of Material
– Preliminary Process Flow Chart
– Preliminary identification of special characteristics related to products and processes
– Product Assurance Plan
– Management Support

Based on the above inputs, the following are the possible outputs from this phase
Engineering drawing: Based on the customer input like technical specification, CAD data, samples, outer dimension for fitment etc., product drawing can be prepared. The inputs for preparing the drawing can also be derived from cross-functional team. Moreover, if any CAD data is provided by the customer, the organization should have the competence and compatibility to work on it. Once a drawing is prepared, a cross functional team can review the drawing to understand the key specifications related to fit, function including any statutory and regulatory requirement which may impact the product. All these key outputs become key inputs for the control plan. Another objective of reviewing the customer drawing is to understand whether it is practically possible to manufacture the products as per dimensions and tolerances specified in the drawing.

– Engineering Specifications: Based on the input received from the customer, the organization has to review the engineering specification to understand the requirements related to fit, function, durability, reliability etc. Based on the inputs, the organization should define requirements related to functional, durability, appearance, Sample size, frequency, acceptance criteria etc.

Material Specifications: Apart from drawing and engineering specifications, inputs related to material also needs to be reviewed for its physical properties, performance, environment, handling, storage, disposal and recycling. These specifications will be a key input for the control plan.

Design Failure Modes & Effect Analysis (DFMEA): This is a very important document which encompasses all the possible failures related to product and the impact it can have on the subsequent processes. Apart from the inputs from the customer, one of the key inputs is from the past learnings. The output of DFMEA becomes a vital input for PFMEA. AIAG-VDA FMEA manual is the most popular document which is globally followed although there are few other reference manuals apart from the customer-specific requirement. DFMEA is a live document which should be reviewed and updated periodically.

Special product and process characteristics: Apart from the special product and process characteristics identified during the initial planning phase, the cross-functional team can identify additional characteristics based on the DFMEA, technical discussion with the customer and their specific requirements. The overall intent should be to ensure that identified special characteristics are cascaded in all the relevant documents until work instruction. Wherever needed, approval from the customer can also be taken. In many cases, wherein different symbols are used by each customer, the organization can decide to prepare their matrix with a common symbol for easy understanding and communication.

Design for Manufacturability and Assembly (DFM, DFA): Many times, it is being observed that product designing do fulfil the expectation of the customer but it becomes tedious for the process design team to convert the design inputs into a useful output which is practically implementable. During the design phase, the CFT has to take care of the ease of use with which manufacturing in the different processes becomes user friendly. The criteria in the DFM (Design for Manufacturability) and DFA (Design for Assembly) will vary based on the customer requirements, statutory & legal requirements, CFT’s knowledge & experience. During the simultaneous engineering process, following are some of the key aspects which can be considered.
o Material handling
o Dimensional tolerances
o Performance requirements
o Design concept, function and its sensitivity to manufacturing variation

Design Verification: Here, the key objective to assess whether all the customers input requirements have been systematically converted into all the relevant design output like drawing, technical specification, product specification etc. Example: if RoHS compliance is one of the voices of the customer, whether it has been adequately identified in the relevant design documents.

Prototype Control Plan: The purpose of the prototype control plan is to identify the dimensional, functional and material tests which are required to build a prototype. Preparing a prototype is not a mandatory requirement but will depend upon the voice of the customer or organization itself. Prototype models help the organization to evaluate how much close product is understood and designed concerning the voice of the customer. Following are some of the key indicator that can be verified. They are
o To check if product requirements are met
o To ensure desired attention has been given to product and process special characteristics
o Verify any deviation

Drawing and specification change: During the design and development process, there is possibility of changes in drawing and specifications and it should be handled effectively so that it is communicated and related documentation can be done effectively.

New equipment, tooling and facilities requirement: The inputs related to drawing, technical specifications help the cross-functional team to identify the need for any new equipment, tooling etc. for meeting the technical and capacity requirement. Systematic monitoring for retrieving it as per plan is also important.

– Gauges / Test Equipment requirements: During this stage, the identification of gauges and test equipment needed for the subsequent process can be identified. Once done, a timeline can be defined for procuring them. Systematic review and monitoring of the timeline will ensure timely receipt of test equipment.

Reliability Study: During this phase, this is of the important study about the reliability of the product that for how long the product will continue to function without fail. Based on this study, the designer decides the warranty period of a product and its constituents. Example: An automobile may have a warranty period of 2 years or 40,ooo km but its components like shockers may have limited warranty and in certain conditions.

– Service diagnostic guidelines and repair and serviceability instructions: In present times, the user does not expect any failure. If at all there is a failure, the user expects that they should be able to diagnose the problem themselves and take suitable action. At times, the user is not able to conduct the diagnostic themselves, in such cases the personnel at service centre should be able to quickly diagnose the problem and can also get the possible solution for repair or service. Example: When we purchase an automobile or mobile phone, along with it, we also receive a user manual which helps us to not only to install and use it but also few diagnostic guidelines and ways to repair or service like Television, Refrigerator etc.

Service part requirements: During the design phase, it is analysed that what are the possible service parts that should be accompanied with the product. The decision is based on the legal requirements, customer requirement or output of DFMEA. Example: With an automobile, service parts like a bulb, tool kit, spare Tyre are provided.

Design Review: These are planned activity which should be conducted periodically by the multidisciplinary team comprising of personnel from all relevant processes. The design review is one of the key inputs for the top management to assess the performance of the new product development process. Through periodic design, an organization can understand its progress and the possible areas of concern. The output of the design review is one of the key inputs from customer also. The intent is to review the following
o Design requirements
o Functional requirements
o Benchmarking studies
o Status of DFA, DFM
o Design verification performance
o Test Results
o Timeline achievement

– Team Feasibility commitment and Management support: The key intent of team feasibility commitment is that the CFT will review and analyse all the design-related inputs (if not responsible for product design) so that organization is confident that they can manufacture, test, package and despatch the desired quality product to the customer on time. During this phase, if CFT identified few areas which may not be possible to implement, they can escalate to top management for their intervention and support.

Benefits to Organization:
• Systematic product design helps the organization to effectively design process phase too
• Effective product design eliminates the possibility of failure of the product due to design
• Reliability of the product improves

Present Challenges:
• How often systematically, all the inputs from the planning phase are reviewed?
• How often, the relevant product design outputs are considered as per customer requirement?

ISO 9000: 2015
ISO 9001: 2015
IATF 16949: 2016
APQP 2nd Edition

This is the 76th article of this Quality Management series. Every weekend, you will find useful information that will make your Management System journey Productive. Please share it with your colleagues too.
Your genuine feedback and response are extremely valuable. Please suggest topics for the coming weeks.

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