A new product introduction



#9

Hi all.

That story of HP "holding all orders of HP 35s models until the issue is fully researched and remedied" really impressed me....

I'm employed in a company that produces consumer goods, and, to be competitive and profitable as a company,

we had to set up a well structured process for New Products Introduction

(be they really "new" or a restyling of existing ones).

That procedure provides a stage-by-stage feasibility and development flow, going through some major "milestones"

where some "steering committee", seen the outcomes of the previous steps, decides a GO/NO GO for the project.


I mean: we're talking, roughly, of the following steps:

1. mock-ups for aesthetical sanction and for "face value tests";

2. first (few) prototypes - not made with definitive tools - for preliminary tests and design reviews;

3. first (limited) bacth, made with definitive tools, aimed at "freezing" the project and make deeper tests

(for example: early failure, reliability, life tests, field tests);

4. first production run (limited quantity) to test the capability of the real production process in terms

of work cycles, ergonomics of work places, production checks and quality checks (either in-process or end-of-line tests).



Now, it's really difficult for me to understand how an issue would escape a structured procedure

(and I *do* believe HP has got even a more structured and paced one)

so that to compel the company to a "recall campaign" ('cause that's what we're really looking at) just 3 weeks after the market launch...

Should I mention the disappointment of the customers, their complaints about the company, the lack of image

etc,. all of these amplified by the huge expectations?



I strongly suspect that, in the process of introduction of the new 35S, having in mind the extreme

level of expectations of the HP market target for that product, somebody over there failed to go through

some seriuos Design FMEA or test session - otherwise, how could such a flaw escape?



Apologise for my rants, but as my daily job is focused at the "quality" of the products, I just can't

understand "how it could happen" to such a company.... But maybe I'm just picturing it bigger than it deserved to be ;-)

Best regards.

Giancarlo


#10

Quote:
I mean: we're talking, roughly, of the following steps:

1. mock-ups for aesthetical sanction and for "face value tests";

2. first (few) prototypes - not made with definitive tools - for preliminary tests and design reviews;

3. first (limited) bacth, made with definitive tools, aimed at "freezing" the project and make deeper tests

(for example: early failure, reliability, life tests, field tests);

4. first production run (limited quantity) to test the capability of the real production process in terms

of work cycles, ergonomics of work places, production checks and quality checks (either in-process or end-of-line tests).



Now, it's really difficult for me to understand how an issue would escape a structured procedure

(and I *do* believe HP has got even a more structured and paced one)

so that to compel the company to a "recall campaign" ('cause that's what we're really looking at) just 3 weeks after the market launch...

Should I mention the disappointment of the customers, their complaints about the company, the lack of image

etc,. all of these amplified by the huge expectations?



I strongly suspect that, in the process of introduction of the new 35S, having in mind the extreme

level of expectations of the HP market target for that product, somebody over there failed to go through

some seriuos Design FMEA or test session - otherwise, how could such a flaw escape?



Apologise for my rants, but as my daily job is focused at the "quality" of the products, I just can't

understand "how it could happen" to such a company.... But maybe I'm just picturing it bigger than it deserved to be ;-)

Best regards.

Giancarlo

I suspect something simply went wrong with the final production.
You can have the best structured approach in the world, all the pre-production you like, and all the beta testers in the world - but when you push that final production button, there are countless little things that can go wrong that can slip through all of your final production QA.

Dave.


#11

Hi Dave.

Maybe just a well-designed QA check-list would have proved helpful...

How to get such a check-list? As a "by-product" of well-structured

Design FMEA and/or Process FMEA, and there we go again...

I suspect that the difference relies on that "countless": they have to be countable (English?)

at least not to oblige the company to stop deliveries within the first month of market launch....

Thanks for your feedback.

Best regards.

Giancarlo


#12

Quote:
Hi Dave.

Maybe just a well-designed QA check-list would have proved helpful...

How to get such a check-list? As a "by-product" of well-structured

Design FMEA and/or Process FMEA, and there we go again...


Sure, you can always 100% check everything to your hearts content. Six-Sigma is achievable!
However, that all costs money, and on a $60 retail calculator which is actually a fairly complex and interactive piece of equipment, that could be a hard ask.

Want to check if the LCD is aligned properly? - either:
1) you have to design it so it can't be mis-aligned in the first place
2) you have automated vision inspection equipment do the job.
3) you rely on human visual checks and good work practices by some worker in China earning a dollar a day

#1 is not always possible, #2 is expensive and hard to justify, so that often leaves you with door #3!

Want to check that label is aligned?...

Want to check every key for "that tactile feel"?...

Manufacturing tooth picks or paperclips is a far easier business! :->

Dave.


#13

Hi Dave.

Quote:
you can always 100% check everything to your hearts content



No, no, no: I was not aiming at a 100% check, but at a statistically significant test,

aimed at the critical characteristics of the product / process that must have been previously analyzed.

Quote:
that all costs money



Yup, despite all legends, Quality *is* a cost (maybe "quality" is not ;-)

Quote:
on a $60 retail calculator



Do you think that the unit margin over that 60 USD is really that tiny to justify a poorly designed quality plan? ;-)

Quote:
Want to check if the LCD is aligned properly? ...
Want to check that label is aligned?...
Want to check every key for "that tactile feel"?



Yes, yes, and yes IF those are features the company has evaluated as

key to the customer (yes, I know - that requires a knowledge of its own customers ;-)

Quote:
Manufacturing tooth picks or paperclips is a far easier business!



I'm afraid "business" is seldom "easy", even when it comes to toothpicks or paperclips

(see the importance of a paperclip for a hard reset of a 50G, for example ;-)).



Thanks for your contribution.

Best regards.

Giancarlo

Edited: 3 Aug 2007, 7:25 a.m.

#14

Quote:
Want to check if the LCD is aligned properly? - either: 1) you have to design it so it can't be mis-aligned in the first place 2) you have automated vision inspection equipment do the job. 3) you rely on human visual checks and good work practices by some worker in China earning a dollar a day

#1 is not always possible, #2 is expensive and hard to justify, so that often leaves you with door #3!


Working in Quality, too, for many years please let me comment:

Forget #3 (you'll always have a slip in the order of a few % using visual inspection). And even #2 is a mere excuse for not having done #1 properly. So a US$60 product must be *designed* it can be sold for this amount and still makes money (incl. complaint handling!). Or, to quote a saying I've seen posted in a production plant:

"Quality does not cost money at all -- the lack of quality costs money!"

HTH, Walter


#15

Hi Walter.

I resound with you, and to reinforce what you state:

Quote:
...and still makes money (incl. complaint handling!)



in my experience it's far too common for a company (be it big or small) not to take into the correct account

the so-called "non-quality costs", that, instead of being used to calculate the *real* unit margin

are put into a "pot" and irreparably mixed with lots of other different costs...

Of course, when I said "Quality" costs, I was meaning that the first and most important *cost* is in terms of attitude -

beginning with the people that design products, and proceeding with all the other along the development, engineering and production stages.

Thank you for your contribution.

Best regards.

Giancarlo
#16

Quote:
"Quality does not cost money at all -- the lack of quality costs money!"

Good afternoon Walter. I must make a comment about your quote. You are very correct in what you say, and it makes me wonder, and I hope I do not offend you. I don't know you or where you are from, but that statement sounds very Germanic in nature. I say that as a compliment as I believe that Germans tend to focus very much on quality, both in past and present, with their engineering and building of things. This is not to say that American made, or British made, or Chinese made, or Hungarian made are not focused on quality too. It just seems to be more of a trend in Germany to concentrate on high quality engineering and building the best, darn everything else. I hope HP sees your quote and take it to heart, and what ever they build next they take the same take, and build darn best calculator.


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