Title: Complexity reduction in product design and development using Design for Six Sigma

Authors: Mathew Thomas, Nanua Singh

Addresses: Ford Motor Company, 35500 Plymouth Road, Livonia, MI 48150, USA. ' Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202, USA

Abstract: In this paper, we examine various aspects of complexity in product design and development, and propose a Total Cost of Complexity (TCC) equation to quantify the impact of non-value-added complexity. This paper attempts to conceptually link the complexity concepts to the Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) approach and looks at DFSS project types, project structure to match with complexity reduction efforts. We also discuss the DFSS project structure requirements for complexity reduction based on broad criteria and compare other kinds of structures against it. A model for DFSS evolution in an organisation is proposed covering various stages an organisation goes through during DFSS implementation. An automobile fluid connection case study clearly illustrates the DFSS approach to reduce component complexity and quantifies the benefits using the TCC equation.

Keywords: complexity costs; complexity reduction; design for six sigma; DFSS; six sigma; product design; product development; knowledge creation; lean production; transfer function; vehicle fluid connection.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2006.009897

International Journal of Product Development, 2006 Vol.3 No.3/4, pp.319 - 336

Published online: 01 Jun 2006 *

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