To be successful in product development, different organizations have adopted various strategies to accommodate fast-changing markets. Many firms believe that initiation and innovation strategies are most likely to succeed over imitation. Some of these strategies include, but are not limited to: customer responsiveness, entrepreneurial manufacturing, time-based, and managing for product speed to market. Common to all is the objective of producing a quality product at a competitive price. Firms with a traditional mass-production strategy acknowledge that to remain competitive, they must develop a flexible specialization approach that enables them to accommodate and create rapid market changes. These strategies are not packaged, off-the-shelf items offering turnkey implementation. With each, a feasibility study to ensure applicability is needed. Implementation without planning could drive up costs and leave a negative impact that may be detrimental to the existence and survival of a company. A customer-responsive strategy targets quality improvement and customer service. Concurrent engineering is based on the integrated design of products and manufacturing and support processes. Design for manufacture (DFM) is a methodology that simultaneously considers all of the design goals and constraints for products that will be manufactured. There are two types of failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA): design failure mode and effects analysis (DFMEA) and process failure mode and effects analysis (PFMEA). Quality function deployment (QFD) is a technique of listening to the voice of the customer. It allows the customers’ requirements, desires, and preferences to be taken into account throughout all processes, beginning with the design development activities and continuing through the production operations on the factory floor. Group technology (GT) is an approach to reduce manufacturing system information content by identifying and exploiting the sameness or similarity of parts based on their geometrical shape and/or similarities in their production process.
By Gary Conner
By George N Bullen FSME