Authors: Vanajah Siva; Ida Gremyr; Hendry Raharjo; Bolennarth Svensson
Addresses: Division of Quality Sciences, Technology Management and Economics Department, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden ' Division of Quality Sciences, Technology Management and Economics Department, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden ' Division of Quality Sciences, Technology Management and Economics Department, Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden ' Engineering/R&D Department, VBG Group Truck Equipment, Vänersborg, Sweden
Abstract: This paper proposes a new practice of robust design methodology (RDM); to adopt a life cycle approach to noise factor identification. Such practice expands the boundary of traditional use of robust design where noise factors are generally known, observable and experimentally controllable. By exploiting information from claim data of a medium-sized Swedish manufacturing company, several other noise factors were identified and classified into product life cycle stages; factors that are often uncontrollable, unobservable, or unknown. Exploratory data analysis, interviews, and internal documents are used in this study. The results show that by analysing the claims data, the product's failure modes can be identified and classified into various product life cycle stages. This enables identification of noise factors in each product life cycle stage. The use of a life cycle approach has two major implications. One is to expand the focus of RDM to encompass all product life cycle stages instead of being limited to a product development process. The other implication is that the practice proposed facilitates consideration of more stakeholders, in addition to one single customer by looking at consequences for society at large once the product is in use. Hence, the proposed RDM practice can be supportive of sustainable product development.
Keywords: robust design methodology; RDM; product life cycle; noise factors; sustainable product development; back-end data; sustainability; sustainable development; Sweden; manufacturing industry; product failure modes.
International Journal of Productivity and Quality Management, 2016 Vol.18 No.2/3, pp.137 - 149
Available online: 23 May 2016 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article