Design for Six Sigma

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Just The Facts


Only about 60% of new products launched are actually a success and that for every seven new product ideas, only four make it to development—and then only one will succeed.

Throw in the manufacturing problems that will need to be corrected and it becomes easy to see that finding and fixing defects is not enough.

Most new product development processes do not operate at a Six Sigma level. 

Low Cost Design for Six Sigma PowerPoint Training Slides

Organizations that have implemented Six Sigma quickly learn that if they do not Design for Six Sigma, they will not achieve it.

Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) is an approach to designing products and services, and their enabling processes, to ensure that they meet customer expectations.

As you evolve in Six Sigma, you realize more about the importance of having DFSS process. As you learn you apply the tools more and more frequently.

You can learn much more with the Quality Pro's Toolbox which contains a Design for Six Sigma PowerPoint Training Program


Six Sigma

Design For Six Sigma

The Nature of Defects


Most defects are "engineered into" the system.

Product and process complexity has a direct effect on defects. The more complex the process or product, the larger the number of opportunities for defects.

Product simplification is the cornerstone. Rigorous methods are needed to drive down process steps, parts count, fastener count, special tooling, reorientation, forms, and so on.

Traditional Design Approach


The traditional approach to product and process design generally involves several functional departments working in series.

This approach lengthens the development process and increases the opportunities for defects at each step of the process.

Communication between groups is lacking due to the serial nature of the process engineering.

I'm sure you've seen it. Engineering changes are the accepted norm and as schedule pressures mount "firefighters" emerge as the heroes of the day.

Each challenge must be quickly resolved with short-term fixes – there's no time to eliminate root causes or they're viewed as too expensive to fix at this point and are therefore not pursued.

DFSS Approach


Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) on the other hand is a parallel (concurrent) activity where all applicable functions are represented within a cross-functional team. 

All relevant knowledge, information, and data is made available to the team so that decisions are "data based" versus the traditional "judgmental" basis.

Product and process designs can therefore be developed together; meaning that the product and process can be made optimal relative to each other.

The Results

  • Fewer design changes, 
  • Lower manufacturing cycle times, 
  • Enhanced product quality and reliability, and 
  • Reduced total cost.

DFSS Process


Like its parent Six Sigma, DFSS uses a disciplined set of tools to launch high quality products and processes.

It begins by conducting-

  • A gap analysis of the entire product development system. This finds the gaps in the processes that are negatively affecting new product performance.

It rigorously addresses-

  • The voice of the customer (VOC). Every new product decision must be driven by the VOC; otherwise, what basis do you have for introducing it? If you correctly identify this voice and respond to it, you're in a far better position to deliver a new product or service that customers actually want!

Once you identify the gaps and the voice of the customer-

  • DFSS goes to work with its own version of the Six Sigma DMAIC process. The process is known by the acronym IDOV.

Low Cost Design for Six Sigma PowerPoint Training Slides.

IDOV Process


  • Identify—hear the voice of the customer to select the best product concept.
  • Design—build a thorough knowledge base about the product and its processes.
  • Optimize—achieve a balance of quality, cost, and time to market.
  • Validate—demonstrate with data that the voice of the customer has been heard and that customer expectations have been satisfied.
  • Low Cost DFSS Training and Tools.

    IDOV or DMAIC


    Design for Six Sigma

    DMAIC or DFSS Flowchart

    Design for Six Sigma Tools


    Design for Six Sigma uses a set of tools and methods in the design of new products or services and their supporting processes.

    Executing the process ensures that the outcome remains as simple and cost effective as possible while serving the needs of the customer.

    The guiding principles ensure product/service definition decisions are "data based", and made within an Integrated Product Team environment.

    Customer requirements are identified, prioritized, and translated into design requirements rather than just making broad-based assumptions. This allows proper cost and performance trade-off decisions to be made.

    Specific component or process step targets are established as a basis for product/service or process definition.

    Design for Six Sigma Application Tool Examples

    • Quality Function Deployment (QFD),
    • CT Matrix,
    • FMEA,
    • Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA),
    • Robust Design,
    • Risk Analysis and,
    • Key Critical Characteristics (key characteristics in engineering).

    The DFSS process and tools are used to design products, services, and manufacturing and transactional processes to meet customer requirements with minimum steps and parts to minimize opportunities for defect and improve sigma levels.

    From Design for Six Sigma to Free-Six-Sigma.com

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