Research Coupall

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Research Coupall

  1. 1. NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT:IMPLICATIONS IF PRODUCT PERFORMANCE AND SPECIFICATIONS ARE NOT MET By: Lynn A. Coupal 1
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS1. Introduction2. Product Performance3. New Product Development Process 3.1 New Product Development Phases 3.1.1 Need, Conceptual/Preliminary Design 3.1.2 Detail Design 3.1.3 Development  Component Development  Prototype Development 3.1.4 Production 3.2 A Different Multilevel Arrangement 3.2.1 Evaluation and Iteration 3.2.2 Decision Making4. Product Specification 4.1 Definitions and Interpretations 4.2 Relationship Between Objective and Performance 4.3 Relationship Between Performance and Specification  Performance to Specification  Specification to Performance 4.4 Linking Performance and Specification in NPD5. Conclusion  Higher Costs and Reduced Revenue  Delay in Product Launch6. References 2
  3. 3. 1. Introduction This research paper will deal with the product performance and specifications innew product development (NPD). Since people are becoming more aware anddemanding with technology, technology is rapidly changing. With this is mind, there is aneed for manufacturers to step up their performance as well as ensure that the desiredperformance is achieved within given timeframes and is cost effective. To understand thelink between product performance and specifications, we will look at the overall productlifecycle. When discussing new product development, I will first discuss the process andthen breakdown the process into 5 phases. Next, I will address product specifications.Following, I will address the relationship between the objective of the company andperformance of the product. Last but not least, I will discuss the suggested implicationsif product performance and specifications are not met.2. Product Performance In order to define product performance, I will first define product, thenperformance, and finally come up with a formal definition for product performance.According to American Heritage Dictionary, product is defined as: “Something produced by human or mechanical effort or by a natural process”and performance is defined as: “The act of beginning and carrying through to completion: discharge, effectuation, execution, prosecution; The way in which a machine or other thing performs or functions: behavior, functioning, operation, reaction, working.” 3
  4. 4. Thus it makes sense to define product performance as: The act of how well a product performs. With this said, some typical product performance characteristics are speed,efficiency, life and accuracy. These definitions also seem to suggest that productperformance is measured in functional terms, but when considering performance otherproperties must also be considered (ex. physical properties). According to Hubka and Eder (1988), performance variables are related to threecategories: “design properties (e.g. function, form, tolerance, surface, materials, anddimensions), internal properties (strength, stiffness, hardness, elasticity, corrosion,resistance, etc.), and external properties (e.g. ergonomics, aesthetic, economy ofoperation, reliability, maintainability, and safety).” The manufacturer is concerned withall three, but the customer is mainly concerned with the external product properties. According to Hubka and Eder (1988), performance is defined as “a vector ofperformance variables”, where each variable is “a measurable property of a product or itselements”. Since a product can be seen as a system consisting of subsystems down tocomponent level, we can define the performance for the various subsystems and continuedown to the component level. The performance of a product can be defined through theperformance of its components. This is product specific. As an example, in the case of alawn tractor, the performance from a fuel consumption point of view is dependant on theperformance of the engine, which in turn is dependant on the performance of the air filter.A dirty air filter will not allow the engine proper air and/or combustion. This in turnaffects the performance of the lawn tractor. 4
  5. 5. There are many different views of product performance as far as the productlifecycle is concerned. Since the performance of a product depends on the performanceof its components, let‟s define the performance for the product as a whole and also for itssubsystems and components. I will use the term “object” to represent the product or anelement of the product. For example, an object may be a riding lawnmower, or somesubsystem of the riding lawnmower, such as the engine or the carburetor. The NPD (New Product Development) process consists of several phases. Thephases can be grouped into two main stages (stage I and stage II). Stage I is the pre-development stage, which consists of the Statement of Need, Conceptual/PreliminaryDesign and Detail Design. It is concerned with the development of “non-physical"(conceptual) answers to problems about the product with greater detail. Stage II is theDevelopment and Production stage, which contains Component Development, PrototypeDevelopment and Production. This deals with the turning the product into a “physical”(concrete) representation. The three different ideas of product performance with regardto product lifecycle are as follows: Desired performance, which can be defined as the performance that is desired from an object. For manufacturers, the desired performance forms the basis for a new product development that will achieve their business goals. For customers, the desired performance states the expectations in their purchasing decision. Manufacturers‟ biggest challenge is to interpret when a product will meet their customers‟ desired performance as accurately as possible, as well as meet the manufacturers‟ business goals (such as total sales and profits). How successful the manufacturer is at fulfilling these expectations determines the customer satisfaction. 5
  6. 6. Predicted performance can be defined as an estimate of an object‟s performance. It is achieved through analyses, simulation, testing, etc. The manufacturer uses predicted performance throughout design, development, and production in order to evaluate whether or not a product will meet the desired performance. These measures form the basis for his/her decisions during the different phases of the product lifecycle. Actual performance may be defined as the observed performance of a prototype/ object during development or over its operating life. The actual performance will differ from the desired performance. The more the actual performance differs from both the manufacturers and customers desired performance, the greater the probability is that the object will not satisfy the manufacturer and/or customers expectations. These three ideas are linked in the following manner. Desired Predicted Actual field performance performance performance  Pre-launch  Post-launch 3. New product development process The US-based Product Development and Management Association (PDMA)defines NPD as “a disciplined and defined set of tasks and steps that describe the normalmeans by which a company repetitively converts embryonic ideas into saleable productsor services” (PDMA 2002, p.450) Technology, Market, and Management drive the NPD process. Technologicaladvances provide an opportunity to improve existing products and/or create newproducts. Feedback from customers, through actions or complaints, also provides anopportunity for improvement. For example, lately there has been an ever increasing 6
  7. 7. demand on creating razor, thin cell phones. Due to the technological advances, this has become a reality. Lastly, resulting factors from within a business, such as the need to reduce warranty cost, a need to reduce productions cost, or new legislation with regards to product performance also drives the need for NPD. It drives the need because of the fact that product recall is quite costly for stockholders. 3.1 New Product Development phases There are several alternate NPD process models. Overall, it is possible to recognize the similarities between the different models. What they all have in common is that the NPD process begins with an idea to build a product that meets specific needs defined by customers and/or manufacturer, and ends with a product that is launched in the market. This is best described through the five-phase model following. Stage I: Stage II: Pre-development Development & Production   2: 3: 4: 5: NEED Detail Component Prototype Production1: Conceptual/Preliminary design design development development (Construction) (Construction) Now I will discuss each of these phases. 3.1.1 NEED, Conceptual/Preliminary Design (Phase 1). The initial activity in this phase is to identify the need(s) of the customer. This need can be either market driven or technologically driven. Based on the need for a new product, the main objective needs to be established. Often the customer states these 7
  8. 8. needs in an unclear manner and the objective is to turn them into specific productcharacteristics. From the need statements, the manufacturer sets up the businessobjective for the NDP process. The next step is to figure out the desired performance forthe product. The desired performance is generally more specific. The desiredperformance is attained from the business objective (i.e. what you want to have happen –for ex: increase market shares/profit) and states what is required of the product in order toachieve the objective from the business perspective. Following, a feasibility analysis iscarried out. This involves evaluating whether or not it is possible to achieve the desiredperformance within the specified constraints of time and/or cost. In order to achieve thedesired business performance, it must fit the business strategy. The final outcome ofphase 1 results in a “go/no-go” decision with regards to the product based on thefeasibility analysis (i.e. whether the business commits to the funding and launch of anNPD project, or decides not to). According to Blanchard and Fabrycky (2006), Conceptual design (cont. phase1) is where an identified need is studied, requirements for possible solutions are defined,possible solutions are evaluated and a System Specification is developed. The SystemSpecification provides “technical requirements” to follow in a system design. Thisdocument controls all future development (System Baseline). However, this stage cannotbe completed until a Conceptual Design Review has determined that the SystemSpecification addresses the need correctly. The result is an outline or a model that can bedeveloped more during the detailed design phase. Therefore, it creates a way to performeach major function and fixes the relationships of the main product components. Thefocus should be attention on performance (as input) and specification (as output) in this 8
  9. 9. phase. Determining the desired performance from the objective is an “iterative” process.Management has to look at all options regarding different technologies and differentcommercial aspects and then make trade-off decisions in order to arrive at the bestsuitable solution. If the desired performance, from the stated objective is technologicallydependent, then management has to consider alternative technological principles whendefining the desired performance. The next step in phase 1 is to examine alternatetechnologies (ranging from well developed, to new and evolving). This may be critical tothe success during the later development phases of the NPD process. An issue that iscomplicated in the evaluation at the end of the phase 1, is the uncertainty associated withthe outcomes of any technology development. (i.e. If we are dealing with a technologythat is new and evolving, it is difficult to know how it will react over time.) The alternative technologies that can be used to make sure that the desiredperformance and the overall objective is met, need to be stated as part of the output inspecification. Thus, specification includes the performance for the product as a whole(i.e. technical baseline), the identification of constraints, and the technologicalimplications. An evaluation of the specification takes place at the end of the phase 1.This determines whether to proceed to the next phase (“go”) or to scrap the idea (“nogo”). This is done by building suitable models that take into account the differenttechnological and commercial issues. Recapping, Phase 1 aims to establish the specifications based on a desiredperformance. This involves the following steps: Establish an overall business objective for the NPD process. Develop the desired product performance from the overall objective. 9
  10. 10. Consider alternative technologies that meet the desired performance. Present the solutions that can meet the desired performance in specification. Evaluate specification, and determine whether the project is “go” or if the project is a “no-go”. If the decision at this point is “go”, then the specification is transferred to thedesign team involved with Detailed Design (pre-development stage) and becomes theinput. If not, one iterates back to see if the necessary changes can be made to satisfy thespecification, and if not, aborts the project.3.1.2 Detail Design (Phase 2). Detail Design is the process of developing a fully defined product design from aclear set of requirements. In order to do this, the product that is created must be all thatwas promised to the customer, both in time and content. It must also have the necessarydocumentation needed for product manufacturing. It should explain the idea to the pointwhere all major decisions about the layout and forms of the product have been taken, andtests of the product‟s functionality, operational use, appearance, consumer preference,and so on, can be carried out. If the decision at this point is “go”, the same process isrepeated as far as the specification is concerned, but becomes the input to thedevelopment and production stage, along with any new constraints. If not, we iterateback to the conceptual design to make necessary changes. Once again, if corrections arenot possible and we have iterated back as far as we can, then the option of aborting theproject should be considered.3.1.2 Development. 10
  11. 11. Development consists of two phases that deal with bringing the physical designinto a final version of the product(i.e. “bringing the design into being”). It must meet thestated needs so that the product can be produced without violating the constraints. Thetwo phases are as follows: Component Development (Phase 3) can be interpreted as the production of components that are needed in order to help the product‟s structural design. The functions are summarized, organized, and then integrated with other components. Components are physically developed and tested. The predicted performance is determined based upon these results. The predicted performance is compared with the desired performance to decide whether to proceed forward or make modifications. According to Weibull.com, during both phases (3 & 4), when the design needs to be changed to overcome the problem, common approaches are “Failure Identification, Analysis and Fix (FIAAF), where the cause of failure is isolated, analyzed and then fixed dedicated test-analyze-and-fix (TAAF) and/or test-analyze-and-redesign (TAAR)”.If the changes to the specifications still don‟t meet the desired performance, we iterateback to conceptual design, or even preliminary design. Prototype Development (Phase 4). The components from the previous phase of the NPD process are put together to form a prototype of the product. As prototypes are built, the predicted system level performance is compared with the desired system level performance. At this point, we must decide to proceed forward or make changes. If the components are found to perform satisfactorily but the system-level 11
  12. 12. prototype does not, the problem is most likely a system-level problem and must be resolved by iterating back to conceptual design. It is then that alternative concepts should be considered. When the prototype testing indicates that the predicted performance matches the desired performance, then specification is finished and the product moves to the production phase.3.1.3 Production (Phase 5). Production starts with trials of a pre-production run. This is done to adjust themanufacturing process and determine quality control procedures. Having quality controlwill make sure that the products have the same performance as those of the prototype.Until the production process is tweaked close to perfection, the actual productperformance of items produced may drop below the performance achieved in thedevelopment process. Change to the production process is an iterative process that stopsonce the production process has been stabilized and the actual performance meets thedesired performance. Total manufacturing then takes place, and the product is launchedto the market. Now the actual field performance of the product can be measured bycomparing the actual outcomes of the product performance against the desired businessobjectives. Comparisons between desired performance and the actual performance aremade on a continuous basis to decide further minor changes to the product (or theproduction process), or to remove it from the market. Throughout this period, customersatisfaction and product performance are also measured on a regular basis to fix minorproduct issues. 12
  13. 13. 3.2 A Different Multilevel Arrangement A necessary characteristic of the pre-development stage is the “non-physical”(conceptual) model of the product. It establishes an increasing level of detail. This canalso be viewed as a multilevel process which involves the following three levels: Level I (business level). Need. Level II (system level). Conceptual/Preliminary design. Level III (component level). Detail design. Similarly, the development and production stage can also be viewed in terms of thesethree levels indicated. However, parts and components are first developed, then productprototypes are built, and finally the product is produced. As a result, we have thefollowing: Level III (component level). Component development. Level II (system level). Prototype development. Level I (business level). Production. This leads to a “matrix characterization” of the NPD process in terms of three levels(business, system, and component) and two stages (pre-development and, developmentand production) as illustrated below. This table may change according to differentproducts. Level 1 Stage I Stage II (Business Level) Pre-development ↔ Development and ↓ Production Level 2 ↑ (System Level) Conceptual Design ↔ Prototype development ↓ Level 3 ↑ 13
  14. 14. (Component level) Detail design → Component development ↔ Matrix representation and performance comparisons of the NPD process.↔ indicates the performance comparisons and the regular arrows represent theNPD process flow.3.2.1 Evaluation and Iteration. Following each phase, the solution is evaluated to decide whether or not it meetsthe desired performance and the stated constraints. Throughout stage I, the evaluation isbased on comparing the predicted performance (based on conceptual model used) withthe desired performance. In stage II, the physical object‟s performance is evaluated andcompared with the desired performance for the corresponding level in stage I. Thebreakdown of specifications in stage I, followed by comparison/verification in stage II issimilar to the philosophy outlined in the “Vee” model by Blanchard and Fabrycky(2006). The evaluation of product performance at each phase forms the basis for decision-making in the NPD process. Each decision results in one of two outcomes: continueforward if there is no problem, or iterate back in order to fix the problem. A problemwould be a difference between the predicted performance and the desired performance. The iteration patterns are different for stages I and II. In stage I, if the evaluationreveals an unacceptable difference from the desired performance, or the constraints arenot met, during detail design (component level), a solution to the problem is firstattempted through iterations at the component level. If the problem cannot be solved atthis level, the problem is examined at the system level (conceptual design) for a possiblesolution. If the problem cannot be solved at the system level, it iterates back to the 14
  15. 15. business level. If the problem is too large, project termination should be an option. In stage II, if an unacceptable difference from the desired performance or ifconstraints are not met, the iteration involves going back to the corresponding phase atthe same level in stage I. If a problem is detected during the component development(phase 3), an iteration back to the detail design (phase 2) is made, as the detail designphase is concerned with component level specifications. If the problem cannot beresolved at this level, it iterates further back to the conceptual design (phase 1).Similarly, if a problem is detected when evaluating the product prototype (phase 4), theiteration is first to conceptual design (phase 1). Iterations from phases in stage II tend to be more costly than from phases in stageI. In the NPD process, iterations within a phase is normal. Examining and improvingsolutions with respect to one or more of the product characteristics (such as reliability,manufacturability, and ergonomics) is normal.3.2.2 Decision making. The iteration process involves decision-making. Decisions have to be madethroughout the entire process. We must either choose among alternative solutions ordeciding whether to continue development, iterate, or terminate the project. It involves abalancing between project schedule, cost, and risk. Decision-making involves making a choice among a set of alternatives. In theNPD process, decisions often have to be based on multiple criteria. Further, in mostsituations the performance of an object depends on factors outside the control of thedecision-maker. Also, there is often more than one decision-maker, each with possibly 15
  16. 16. different preferences. This leads to multi-criteria group decision-making underuncertainty. However, most engineering text on engineering design ignores theuncertainty and group aspects of decision-making.4. Product specification After reading many articles and writings on product specification, there are manydifferent definitions. In this section I will discuss some alternate definitions, then comeup with a definition and discuss it in more detail.4.1 Definitions and InterpretationAccording to the Oxford Dictionary, a specification is: “A detailed description of the particulars of some projected work in building, engineering, or the like, giving the dimensions, materials, quantities, etc., of the work, together with directions to be followed by the builder or constructor; the document containing this.”More technical definitions of specification are as follows: British Standards Institution (1986, p.3): “A means of communicating in writing the requirements or intentions of one party to another in relation to a product or service, a material, a procedure or a test. A specification may define general characteristics or it may be specific to the reliability and maintainability features of a product”. Ulrich and Eppinger. (1995, p. 55): “A specification (singular) consists of a metric and a value. The product specification (plural) are simply the set of the individual specifications”. 16
  17. 17. Blanchard and Fabrycky (2006): “The technical requirements for the system and its elements or more subordinate specifications …, covering applicable subsystems, configuration items, equipment, software, and other components of the system”. Dieter (1991): „The Product Design Specification (PDS) is a detailed document that describes what the design must be in terms of performance requirements… but it should say as little as possible about how the requirements are met. Whenever possible the specification should be in quantitative terms, and when appropriate it should give limits within acceptable performance lies‟. Zeng and Gu (1999, p. 32): “In a design process, design requirements are represented by design specifications. Based on the specifications, candidate product descriptions are generated. Design specifications are the formulation of design requirements, which manifest themselves as a set of desired product descriptions or product performances”. As can be seen, these definitions are very different. They do, have muchcommonality. Specification states the characteristics of a product at some stage in adevelopment process. The Oxford Dictionary defines a specification as a documentdescribing a process in detail, following process development. Others seem to view thespecification as a document that states the desired characteristics of a product or processprior to its development. On the other hand, some have defined specifications asdocuments that first serve as input to the design process, but become more developed asthe design proceeds through different design phases. According to Blanchard andFabrycky (2006), the initial specification is the system specification, and the final is theproduct, process, and materials specification. I prefer to follow Blanchard and 17
  18. 18. Fabrycky‟s definition on specification, which views specifications as documents thatbecome more developed throughout design and development. Much of the design studiesfocus on customer needs as the starting point of a design process. However, Gershensonand Stauffer (1999) place importance on “so-called corporate requirements stemmingfrom company internal sources such as marketing, finance, manufacturing, and service inthe specification”.4.2 Relationship between objective and performance The objective is the business-level statement that states what management expectsin a new product from the overall business perspective. The objective outlines a set ofstatements, from a commercial and technical perspective, about the performance of theproduct to be designed. The objective includes the following: 1. Statements about the performance of the new product and how the new product relates to other similar products in the market. 2. Statements that show measureable expectations (market-share, return on investment, and revenue) of the new product on business performance. 3. Statements related to various constraints, such as health and safety, environmental, legal, and cost and time limits. The desired performance of the product is justified from the business-level objective.In creating the desired performance, we have to consider all the possible basicassumptions of technology that might be used in the design and manufacture of theproduct. The statements describing the desired performance will generally be morespecific than the statements in the objective. Therefore, the desired performance must beunderstood so that if the desired performance is achieved, then the objective is fulfilled. 18
  19. 19. 4.3 Relationship between performance and specification Performance and specifications are strongly linked, and play a key role in theNPD process. There are two kinds of relationships between performance andspecification. Performance to Specification. The desired performance gives a rough idea of what is to be achieved in the NPD process. The specification describes how this performance can be achieved by testing all alternative solutions with the desired performance as an input to the process and using a synthesis process. Thus, specification becomes a function of the desired performance. Often there are several alternative solutions that have the same desired performance. As a consequence, this results in several specifications because of the different alternatives, and therefore does not necessarily result in a one-to-one relationship. Specification to Performance. If the actual performance of a product is built to specific specifications, the actual performance can be viewed as a function of the stated specification. This would be considered a one-to-one relationship. Each specification leads to a single actual performance of the product. According to Blanchard and Fabrycky (2006), “actual performance is affected by several uncertain factors beyond the control of the manufacturer.” In this case, one measures performance in a statistical sense. The expected (or average) actual performance is related to the specification in a one-to-one relationship.4.4 Performance and specification link in NPD 19
  20. 20. In both phases of stage I, specifications come from the desired performance. Inthe three phases of stage II, we have actual performances that are functions of thespecifications of the final phase of the pre-development stage.5. Conclusion In this paper, I have suggested a model for defining specification at componentlevel. This model would make certain that the desired objectives at the business level areachieved in NPD. If not, a breakdown will occur and result in one or more of thefollowing: higher costs, delay in the product launch, reduced revenue and loss ofcustomers. Higher Costs & Reduced Revenue The most severe outcome of poor quality is product recall. The impact of recallingthousands of products is huge. Warranty costs in the automotive industry alone exceed $9billion per year. The short and long-term costs of a recall can be enormous and isinfluenced by many factors. Some costs are directly related to recall activities, such asinvestigation of the product failure, customer notification of the recall, transportation ofthe recalled product, redesign and repair costs and the loss in value of the defectiveproduct. Other costs are indirectly associated with the product recall, such aspoor quality, including the loss of sales due to negative publicity. The bottom line is thatpoor quality can have a dramatic effect on a manufacturer‟s profits. Delay in the Product Launch 20
  21. 21. Clearly there is a tradeoff between the trying to minimize time-to-market andmaximize performance of a new product. Being the first to introduce a product into themarket can bring enormous benefits (higher price percentages or greater market share).Equally, delaying the introduction of new products into the market can lead to dreadfulconsequences such as lower market share, or the loss of consumer integrity. As anexample, recall the efforts of Macintosh development effort in the early 80s. The projectwas supposed to make major increases in both product performance (hardware andsoftware) and manufacturing development. The delay (of a few quarters) in theintroduction of the product drove Apple‟s earnings down and caused the stock of thecompany to fall to less than half its value (Rosario & Vokurka. 2000).Note: The bottom line is that if product performance and specifications are not met,the company (business) will lose massive amounts of money/revenue due to changesin design after launch, recall, longer development times, poor sales and customerdissatisfaction.6. ReferencesBlanchard, B.S. and Fabricky, W.J., Systems Engineering and Analysis, 4th edition, 2006 (Pearson Prentice Hall: Upper Saddle River, NJ).British Standards Institution, Reliability of Constructed or Manufactured Products, Systems, Equipment and Components, BS 5760 Part 4, 1986 (British Standards Institution). 21
  22. 22. Dieter, G.E., Engineering Design – A Materials and Processing Approach, 1991 (Mc Graw Hill: NewYork).Gershenson, J.K. and Stauffer, L.A., A taxonomy for design requirements from corporate customers. Res. Eng. Design, 1999, 11, 103-115Hubka, V. and Eder, W.E., Theory of Technical Systems, 1988 (Springer Verlag: Berlin).John Simpson and Edmund Weiner, Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition, 1989 (Clarendon Press).Pickett, Joseph P. et al., The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language. Fourth edition. 2000 (Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston).PDMA, The PDMA Toolbook for New Product Development, edited by P. Belliveau, A. Griffin and S. Somermeyer, 2002 (Wiley: New York).Rosas-Vega, Rosario & Vokurka, Robert J., Industrial Management & Data Systems, 2000(MCB UP Ltd.)Ulrich, Karl T. and Eppinger, Steven D., Product Design and Development: Third Edition. 1995(McGraw-Hill).Weibull.com. Article: “Introduction to Reliability Growth”, Reliability HotWire. Issue 39, May 2004Zeng, Y. and Gu, P. Article: “A New Approach to Managing Product Requirements: Formulation and formalization of design process”, Advanced Manufacturing Technology . May 16-17, 2005(London, Canada) 22

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