Design Six Sigma

Design for six sigma (DFSS) is an approach for designing a new product or service with a measurable high performance. This requires the development of an understanding of customer needs prior to launch rather than afterward.

There are a number of methodologies applying six sigma principles, including DMADV (design, measure, analyze, design, verify), IDOV (identify, design, optimize, verify) as well as DFSS. IDOV tends to focus on the final stages of engineering optimization and may not address the selection of product features and attributes that actually address customer requirements.

DFSS comprises a number of defined activities as outlined

New product introduction: Selection of the concept or service to fulfill a perceived need. Benchmarking. Customer surveys. R&D, sales and marketing input. Risk analysis.

Define: Benchmarking, customer surveys and analysis. Development of a team charter to provide a solid foundation for the project.

Customer (measure): Identification of the full characteristics and needs of the customer. Use of QFD (quality function deployment (see Chapter 2)) to identify the set of critical to quality (CTQ) metrics. This arises from the set of customer needs along with a list of potential parameters that can be measured and quantified defining the targets for each CTQ metric.

Concept (analyzed conceptual design): A design is explored and developed for the new product and service. This requires a further round of QFD in order to identify the best features that have the potential to deliver the critical to quality metrics. During this phase, there is a move from critical to quality to critical to process (CTP) metrics. At the end of this stage, a concept or concepts together with a set of critical to process metrics that constrain the formal and technical design will have been produced.

Design (technical design): The team hands over the design brief for the design team to complete using the critical to process metrics. Typical tools applied in this phase include Design of Experiments (DoE) and statistical optimization.

Implement: Use of failure mode effect analysis (FMEA) and other prototyping and product or system testing approaches to enable fine-tuning of the design.

Handover: Full-scale commercial roll-out.