Reducing Lead Time in Cutting Tool Development By Implementing Blitz QFD
A cutting tool producer aims to reduce the lead time from finding customer needs to achieving peak sales. There are many approaches to improving a company's new product development process in bits and pieces, but a more thorough impact is accomplished with a chain of well integrated methods in an educational package including certified skill levels. A modified version of the well known but sometimes misunderstood process, Quality Function Deployment (QFD), can fulfill the above aim. QFD is used by companies to better understand the spoken and unspoken customer needs their priority and translate them into product requirements, assuring quality throughout the design, manufacturing, and after-sales phases. Its traditional tool set focused on time consuming matrices, called houses. In today's lean businesses, the resources available to do this depth of analysis are reduced, and so more efficient methods have been introduced by the QFD Institute under the guidance of Dr. Yoji Akao, the founder of QFD. This paper will introduce some of the modern Blitz QFD® methods and discuss their impact as they have been applied to improve the product development at Sandvik Coromant.