Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Robust Design - Productivity during Design & Development

Robust Design is an engineering methodology for improving productivity during design & development so that high quality products can be produced at low cost.

Robust Design is an engineering methodology for improving productivity during design & development so that high quality products can be produced at low cost.

Robsut design optimization is systematic and efficient way to meet the challenge design optimization for performance, quality & cost. 

It is capable of

Making product performance insensitive to raw material variation, thus providing scope for  the use of lower grade alloys, 
Making designs robust against manufacturing variation, thus reducing material cost for rework & scrap,
Making the design least sensitive to the variation in operating environment.

It uses a new structured development process so that design engineering time is used more productively.

The Robust Design method uses a mathematical tool called Orthogonal Arrays to study a large number of decision variables with a small number of experiments. It also uses a new measure of quality called signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio to predict the quality from the customer's perspective.

To be updated using material from Ulrich and Eppinger

Development Cost of Cars - Efficiency Practices and Lean Product Development

January 2014
Maruti invested 5.7 billion rupees ($91.7 million) to develop the Celerio in the belief that Indians want an automatic car. 5.7 billion rupees is equal to Rs. 570 crore.

September 2013
Grand i10, which is built upon a new platform with a development cost of nearly Rs 1,000 crore, features India specific dimensions and is 100 mm longer than its European version.

May 2013
General Motors opened a new $130 million enterprise data center, which will serve as its computing “backbone” for its global operations. The facility is located at its Technical Center in Warren, Michigan.
GM Says the new IT Center Will Reduce Vehicle Development Costs. The company also plans to build another $100 million facility in Milford, Mich.

Tata Nano
Engine Management System for Tata Nano

Chevy Volt Development Cost $1 to 1.2 billion

Mahindra & Mahindra launched its multi-purpose vehicle Xylo
Xylo, with its competitive price ranging from Rs 6.24 lakh to Rs 7.69 lakh, is pitched against MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) market leader Toyota Innova . While Toyota’s low-end Innova E costs Rs 7.60 lakh, the low-end version of Mahindra MPV, Xylo E2, at Rs 6.24, comes with additional comfort features including power steering, power windows and central locking. Toyota’s high-end Innova G4 is priced Rs 9.29 lakh while Mahindra’s high-end variant Xylo E8 costs Rs 7.69 lakh and offers additional comforts including digital drive assist system and flatbed front seats.
Xylo, which was under development for four and a half years, has come out of an all-new platform called Ingenio. The entire product development has cost Rs 550 crore. According to managers of the company, the product development process has improved significantly in the last six and a half years. The development cost of Scorpio and Xylo is the same, even though Xylo was developed recently.

Ford spent an estimated six years and $6 billion developing its world car - the Mondeo/Contour/Mystique.
The Mondeo was launched on November 23, 1992, and sales began on 22 March 1993.
Instigated in 1986, the design of the car cost Ford US$6 billion. It was one of the most expensive new car programs ever. North American models were marketed as the Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique until 2000, and as the Ford Fusion from 2013 onwards.

Corvette 5 Upgrade - Budget $200 million


Product Development in the World Auto Industry
Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University

GM-10 Development Project - W-Body by General Motors - $7 billion budget

Ford Fiesta
Development Cost - $1 billion

Ford Management decides to study the possibility of producing a class "B" car, smaller than the European Escort Mk. 1,  The commitment: seven men, $100,000 and 8 months to create a firm proposal.

Lee Iacocca, then President of Ford, and Henry Ford II, Chairman, agree that the proposal looks promising,.

 Ford Fiesta project is code named "Bobcat." The Ghia design studio in Turin, under De Tomaso, produces styling model which is used in marketing studies. Other pre-prototypes studied are produced in England and Germany, and all are rated along side compeitors. $1.3 million total is spent in marketing studies, including showing prototypes and competitors to 900 customers from 7 countries.

Henry Ford II and Lee Iacocca introduce Bobcat prototype to Ford of Europe staff in Germany 1000 days before start of production. This prototype has styling almost identical to the final production version. Styling is later finalized, with a compromise between two similar Ford Europe design studio efforts approved.

Construction of an automobile production complex is started in Valencia, Spain to produce Fiesta. Annual capacity to be 400,000 engines, and 300,000 complete automobiles. First prototype Ford Fiesta driven by Henry Ford II and Lee Iacocca.

Ford Fiesta is upgraded in minor ways to exceed the new higher targets set by the latest competition. European pre-production engines produced, and the Ford Fiesta is transferred from the development to production startup stage. Board decides to produce federalized version of the Ford Fiesta at Saarlouis, Germany, for export to the United States. Plans are made to produce 1600cc 'Kent' engines at Dagenham, England, to be shipped to Germany and mated with transmissions made in Bordeaux, France. All to be assembled into Fiestas to be exported to the U.S.

Total Ford Fiesta production: 109,838 units (partial year).
Production is started of 957cc European version, which weighs approx 1650 lbs.

Total Ford Fiesta production: 440,969
Sales of U.S. Fiestas begin, 1978 model year designation. Four model variants are available: Base, Decor, Sport and Ghia. All have the same engine and four speed manual transmission, with interior trim and instrumentation being the primary differences. The exceptions are the Sport model, which includes stiffer shock valving and a 12mm. anti-sway bar at the rear, and the Ghia which includes servo assisted brakes.

Why does it cost upward of a billion dollars to develop a new car?

Car companies have to spend enormous amounts developing new models. The price tag to develop a new vehicle starts around $1 billion. According to John Wolkonowicz, Senior Auto Analyst for North America at IHS Global, "It can be as much as $6 billion if it's an all-new car on all-new platform with an all-new engine and an all-new transmission and nothing carrying over from the old model." $6 billion was spent by Ford in developing Monde model during 1986-1993.

Thousands of parts have to work every time one turns the key and every time one presses the accelerator and every time one presses the brake. And they have to do it for about 15 years. And they also have to pass all the government inspections.

When an automaker designs a new car, it has to identify consumer tastes a few years down the road, and  also it has to create a car that is feasible to produce on an assembly line and still make a profit.

A new car development team usually includes a few hundred of engineers, split into such groups as chassis and body, suspension, drivetrain, control systems and other major subsystems. Other teams may be dedicated to control noise, vibration and harshness, meeting government regulations, or finding the most ergonomically correct setup for the widest variety of differently sized humans that could get behind the wheel. With the rise of in-car infotainment systems, there are engineers working on the latest gadgets to include in the car.

Lot testing goes in the development process. They test, test, and test some more until they get it right. They test to meet performance requirements. They test for durability. They test for fuel mileage. They test for aerodynamics. They test for safety compliance. Testing costs money.

Today many tests can be done on the computer before prototypes are built, but those computers and the software cost more money and eventually, real-world tests must be done and unique prototypes must be built. Some of that real-world testing can take place at automakers' private proving grounds or closed test tracks, but the need to test in extreme weather conditions lures them to the roasting desert of Death Valley and the frigid winter of Lapland. The logistics of getting humans, prototypes and test equipment to these regions does not come cheap, either.

You will find designers (interior and exterior), model makers, marketing people, manufacturing specialists, assembly line workers, industrial engineers,  purchasing analysts, and number of outside consultants and also number of accountants -- working on new product development at any given time. You require many executive decision makers. There is also support staff assisting with human resources, IT and other essential services of a modern corporation. As a part of development assembly plants have to designed and tooling to stamp parts out has to be created.

At an average total compensation for each engineer, designer, accountant, marketing person and executive  in the neighborhood of $100,000 per year (counting benefits such as medical insurance, pensions, education, vacation and other perks) and a team of 1,000 people would mean $100,000,000 per year.  With four years to develop a car, that's at least $400,000,000 for compensation alone. Those employees need computers, office space, engineering laboratories and many  other resources required to design and engineer such a complex machine. The mobile bill alone is probably in the neighborhood of a million bucks a year for such a group. One billion dollars can be easily accounted for.

Re-tooling a factory can easily eclipse the human cost of developing a new car.

In the Book "The Machine That Changed the World" Womack et al. note that average American producer requires 60.4 months and 903 employees to come out with a new car design. The prototype lead time is 12.4 months and die development time is 25 months.

Related Articles by Narayana Rao

Lean Product Development and Product Development Productivity - Bibliography

To be updated

25 Nov 2015, 22 feb 2014

Lean Product Development and Product Development Productivity - Bibliography

Siemens NX 9 Delivers up to 5X Product Development Productivity across Industries
Technology Breakthroughs Establish New Flexibility and Productivity Paradigms for Working with 2D Data and Massive Assemblies
New Functionality Expands NX Leadership in Freeform Shape Design, PLM Integration, and Product Development Decision-Making
PLANO, Texas, October 14, 2013

Sustaining LPD program - A Presentation - Katherine Radeka

Book - Design Productivity Debate - 1996 - Alex H.B. Duffy
Preview Google Book


Improving the NPD Process by Applying Lean Principles: A Case Study.
By: Nepal, Bimal P.; Yadav, Om Prakash; Solanki, Rajesh. Engineering Management Journal. Sep2011, Vol. 23 Issue 3, p65-81. 17p. 4 Diagrams, 9 Charts, 1 Graph.

A Framework for Organizing Lean Product Development.   Full Text Available
By: Hoppmann, Joern; Rebentisch, Eric; Dombrowski, Uwe; Thimo Zahn. Engineering Management Journal. Mar2011, Vol. 23 Issue 1, p3-15. 13p. 3 Charts.

Lean Product Development Research: Current State and Future Directions.   Full Text Available
By: León, Hilda C. Martínez; Farris, Jennifer A. Engineering Management Journal. Mar2011, Vol. 23 Issue 1, p29-51. 23p. 2 Diagrams, 7 Charts, 1 Graph.

A Multilevel Framework for Lean Product Development System Design.   Full Text Available
By: Letens, Geert; Farris, Jennifer A.; van Aken, Eileen M. Engineering Management Journal. Mar2011, Vol. 23 Issue 1, p69-85. 17p. 4 Diagrams, 2 Charts.

Lean Product Development as a System: A Case Study of Body and Stamping Development at Ford.   Full Text Available
By: Liker, Jeffrey K.; Morgan, James. Engineering Management Journal. Mar2011, Vol. 23 Issue 1, p16-28. 13p. 3 Diagrams.

Improving the NPD Process by Applying Lean Principles: A Case Study.   Full Text Available
By: Nepal, Bimal P.; Yadav, Om Prakash; Solanki, Rajesh. Engineering Management Journal. Mar2011, Vol. 23 Issue 1, p52-68. 17p. 5 Diagrams, 7 Charts, 2 Graphs.

The Toyota Way in Services: The Case of Lean Product Development.   Full Text Available
By: Liker, Jeffrey K.; Morgan, James M. Academy of Management Perspectives. May2006, Vol. 20 Issue 2, p5-20. 16p. 1 Diagram, 3 Charts. DOI: 10.5465/AMP.2006.20591002.

Rediscovering the kata way. (cover story).   Full Text Available
By: SOLTERO, CONRAD. Industrial Engineer: IE. Nov2012, Vol. 44 Issue 11, p28-33. 6p. 1 Color Photograph, 2 Diagrams, 1 Chart.

The Principles of Product Development Flow: Second Generation Lean Product Development by Donald G. Reinertsen.   Full Text Available
By: Radeka, Katherine. Journal of Product Innovation Management. Jan2010, Vol. 27 Issue 1, p137-139. 3p. DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-5885.2009.00705_1.x

By: Cooper, Robert G.; Edgett, Scott J. Research Technology Management. Mar/Apr2008, Vol. 51 Issue 2, p47-58. 12p.


 Johannes Hinckeldeyn , Rob Dekkers , Jochen Kreutzfeldt , (2015) "Productivity of product design and engineering processes: Unexplored territory for production management techniques?", International Journal of Operations & Production Management, Vol. 35 Iss: 4, pp.458 - 486

Focus on implementation: a framework for lean product development
Type: Conceptual paper
Author(s): L. Wang, X.G. Ming, F.B. Kong, D. Li, P.P. Wang
Source: Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management Volume: 23 Issue: 1 2012

Rethinking lean NPD: A distorted view of lean product development
Type: General review
Source: Strategic Direction Volume: 23 Issue: 10 2007

Towards lean product lifecycle management: A framework for new product development
Type: Conceptual paper
Author(s): Peter Hines, Mark Francis, Pauline Found
Source: Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management Volume: 17 Issue: 7 2006

Updated  25 Nov 2015, 19 Feb 2014

Lean Product Design - How Toyota Designs Cars - Womack, Jones and Roos

Chapter 3 Content

Product Development and Engineering in Lean Enterprise

Ohno and Toyoda decided early that product engineering inherently encompassed both process and industrial engineering.. They formed product design teams with experts from process and industrial engineering teams. Career paths were structured so that rewards went to strong team players without regard to their function. The consequence of lean engineering  was a dramatic leap in productivity, product quality and responsiveness.

Lean Production and Changing Consumer Demand

Toyota's flexible production system and its low cost and time product engineering let the company supply the product variety that buyers wanted with little cost penalty. In 1990, Toyota offered consumers around the world as many products as General Motors even though Toyota was only half of GM's size. Toyota requires only half the time and effort required by GM to design and produce a new car. So Toyota can offer twice as many vehicles with the same development budget.  Japanes car makers offer as many models as all of the Western firms combined.  The product variety offered by Japanese is growing where that offered by Western companies is shrinking.

Japanese on an average are producing 500,000 copies in four years, whereas western companies making 2 million copies in 10 years.

Toyota is making profit by producing only two-thirds of the life-of-the-model production volume of European specialist firms and therefore it can attack the craft-based niche producers like Aston Martin and Ferrari. American mass producers could not attack them due to insufficient volume.

Chapter 5  Designing the Car

Honda's product development process is different from that of General Motors. The Large Project Leader in charge of car development is given great power. He recruits appropriate persons from various functional departments for the life of the project.

In 1986, Professor Kim Clark of Harvard Business School undertook a world wide survey of product development activities in motor industry. Clark found that a totally new Japanese car required 1.7 million hours engineering effort on average and took forty-six months from first design to customer deliveries. By contrast, the average U.S. and European proect of comparable complexity took 3 million engineering hours and consumed sixty months.  Thus the Japanese methods have a two-to-one difference in engineering effort and a saving of one-third in development time. It turns on its head one of our most common assumptions. A project can be speeded up with increase in cost and effort.

The authors say there are four basic differences between lean design and western design methods.

1. Leadership of the product design team
The lean producers invariably employ some variant of the Shusa system pioneered by Toyota (Honda terms it Large Project leader (LPL)). The Shusa is the leader of the team and his job is to design and engineer a new product and get it fully into production. In Japanese auto industry, the cars are commonly known by the Shusa's name.

2. Teamwork
In American or European companies 900 engineers are involved in a typical project over its life, but Japanese companies use only about 485 engineers. But importantly, there is little turnover in the Japanese teams. There is more turnover in American teams.

3. Communication
In the best Japanese lean project, the numbers of people involved are highest at the very outset. Difficult trade-offs are decided at the start stages of the project.  As development proceeds, the number of people involved drops as some specialties complete the job.

4. Simultaneous Development

Example of Die development:
The die designers in Japanese projects are in direct, face to face contact with the design team and they know the number of panels to be made and approximate sizes. So they go ahead and order blocks of die steel in parallel to the design process. They even make rough cuts before the detailed design of the panels is done.

The Consequences of Lean Design in the Market Place

Lean design companies can offer a wider variety of products and replace them more frequently that mass-production competitors. The Japanese firms are using their advantage in lean systems to expand their product range rapidly, even as they renew existing products every four years. Between 1982 and 1990, they nearly doubled their product portfolio from forty-seven to eighty-four models.

Training of Engineers in Japan

All engineers including design engineers first assemble cars. At Honda, for example all entry-level engineers spend their first three months in the company working on the assembly line. The're then rotated to the marketing department for the next three months.  Then they spend an year in various engineering departments - drive train, body, chassis and process machinery. Then design engineer's assignment starts in an engineering department. As a first assignment, they are assigned to a routine new-product development team. In the next assignment they may be put on a more challenging task.  After this, they are given additional academic inputs and then put on advanced projects, which involve using revolutionary and advanced materials.

But Honda, asks all its engineers to spend one month in operations and ensures that even people working in advanced technologies are connected to the current demands of  the market.

Japanese Became High-Tech Wonders

Not only in manufacturing, even in design practice Japanese have a gone a notch or two ahead of its Western Competitors.

Japanese bet on increase in fuel prices and made investments in small four cylinder engines. But fuel prices fell and consumers were looking for larger cars with more power. Japanese engineers made use of many known technologies to increase power of four cylinder engines.  There features were: fuel injection rather than carburettors, four valves per cylinder, balance shafts in the bottom of the engine, turbochargers and superchargers. a second set of overhead cams, and even an additional set of cams. The engineers work very hard on what is known as refinement - paying attention to the smallest details of an engine design that gives better performance. Finally, attention was given to manufacturability so that complex engines work properly every time.  These innovations convinced buyers in North America that Japanese cars are now high-tech. When the American producers wanted to do similar innovations, problems have cropped up.

Japanese companies are now having patents than American companies in automobiles.

So far, Japanese have not made epochal innovations. They did a brilliant scavenging process that used ideas nearly ready for the market. How will they fare in more difficult challenges? The authors concluded..

Set-based concurrent engineering

To be updated

25 Nov 2015, 20 Oct 2013