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Quality Function Deployment - Essay Example

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Summary
Quality Function Deployment (QFD) is a method used to ensure that the eventual design of a product or service actually meets the needs of its customers. Often called the 'house of quality' because of its shape, QFD originated in Japan where it was developed in Mitsubishi's Kobe shipyard…
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Quality Function Deployment

Download file to see previous pages... QFD also differs in the fact that it concentrates more on adding new features and components according to customer needs and expectations rather then simply focusing on eliminating features or components not required by the customer. The QFD institute describes QFD as a comprehensive quality design method that:
The following essay will start with a brief look on the evolution of QFD and its expansion to the rest of the world. This will be followed by a discussion on the framework of house of quality (HoQ) as well as the elements that forms part of the HoQ. The next sections will then cover the advantages and the benefits offered by the method which will be followed by a discussion on the drawbacks of the method.
The roots of QFD can be traced back to United States in 1940s with the emergence of 'value engineering'. Due to limited reources at General Moters (GM), alternative designs were considered and it often resulted in better product and lower cost. This led the management at GM to investigate and develop effective ways to improve value and resulted in launching of the program 'value analysis' (VA) in 1947 with tremendous success. In 1954, Department of Defense's bureau of Ships embraced a similar approach in it procurement activities and named its programme 'value engeenering'.
However, Jiang, Shiu and Tu mention that even though the initial concept of quality originated in the United States, early industrial applications predominantly took place at Japanese companies (30). After the World War II, Japan's industry was devastated and Japanese begun rebuilding the industry with the help of Americans. Quality was given a significant importance, leading to the establishment of statistical quality control in Japanese manufacturing industry. The quality management activities at the time were concerned with quality of the product during the manufacturing process or after.
During this time, Professors Shigeru Mizuno and Yoji Akao focused on developing a quality assurance method that would integrate customer satisfaction into the product even before the product was manufactured. Based on this concept, Mizuno and Akao subsequently published their first book on the topic in 1978 (Jiang, Shiu and Tu 33).
In 1966, Mr Kiyotaka Oshiumi of Bridgestone Tire in Japan was presented with a process assurance items table. This table had a fishbone diagram showing the links from the substitute quality characteristics, which were converted from true qualities (customer needs), to the process factors. A further field of 'Design Viewpoints' was later added to this table. (Akao and Mazur 21)
Although the idea was presented to various companies for trails, it did not generate much public interest at the time. Akao and Mazur mention that the approach at the time was still inadequate in terms of setting the design quality (21). However, this changed with the creation of quality chart by the Kobe Shipyards of Mitsubishi Heavy Industry in 1972. Their table indicated the true quality (customer needs) in terms of function and then showed the relationship between these ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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