A Product Robustness Process in a Medium-Sized Company
Paper in proceedings, 2012
Robust Design Methodology (RDM) has been established as an approach to design products or processes that are reliable and have stable performance despite exposure to variation in uncontrollable factors. Reliable and robust products with stable performance reduce scrap, waste and re-work and thus contribute to increased sustainability. Research on RDM has traditionally focused on the application of various tools to support RDM. Less has been written on how RDM can be applied throughout a product development process. This paper presents a study of a medium-sized manufacturing company developing a Product Robustness Process (PRP) as a sub-process in their product development process; a process focusing on practices but also in some cases include indications of suitable tools. The resulting process shows how various practices of RDM can be made a part of an established product development process, from concept design to verification of reliability and robustness. It also shows the necessity to focus on practices, not merely tools or techniques, to make full use of RDM in all phases of product development.