Robust Engineering Assists Product Complaints
Practice / Industry: Robust Engineering
Development of a vision based method for classifying occupants in the passenger seat of automobiles. The federal government placed requirements on when passenger side air bags can deploy, requiring the system to be able to detect and classify occupants. Although the company had an existing method of classification, they were trying to explore new technologies that would increase the Robustness of the classification.
After our initial assessment, it was decided that the company needed robust engineering to improve the process. ASI Consulting Group executed a pattern recognition system called MTS.
The team completed the study of the current and proposed technology and found that it was not capable of meeting government requirements. The biggest benefit of MTS was the fact that the team identified the technology was not capable of meeting the requirements very early on in the development cycle. Knowing this technology was not capable, detection allowed them to free up resources to search for better technologies. ASI-CG then helped using DFSS which provided a new design for classification that worked.
Robust Engineering Facilitates Firm’s Entry Into Virgin Market
Practice / Industry: Robust Engineering
The firm’s marketing division has identified that the market for compressors for water coolers and mini refrigerators was increasing. The company was eager to capture this new market. Presently it did not have any models for this segment of the market.
The firm decided to come out with a design comparable with the best in the world, which at the same time would be cost-efficient. The company benchmarked itself with the leading compressor manufacturers. Seven design variants were selected and each varied at two levels. Robust Engineering methodology was used.
Robust Engineering helped the company to incorporate the best features of the world leaders in a short period of time and successfully come out with a new design. The design was approved by the R&D department for production. The weight of the compressor was approximately 6.5 kg which was a reduction of 36% over the original weight. It was able to capture the market, yielding a very high profit to the company.
Practice: Robust Engineering
A company wanted to develop a new fuel delivery system to satisfy hot fuel handling requirement. In order to reduce pollution, the company needed to develop a new system which delivered precise fuel flow for combustion so that they could eliminate unused hot fuel returning back to the fuel tank. A team of engineers was assigned to accomplish this in three years. Two years into the assignment, they could not meet the requirement.
The best solution was to introduce the company to our Robust Engineering methodology. ASI Consulting Group originated the concept of robust optimization strategies. After two months of work, the company they had a design that met all requirements.
The team finished development in two months, meeting all requirements, and reduced time to market, which translated to saving of approximately $250k of engineering time and development cost. Cost avoidance in future warranty costs, as fuel pumps are a high warranty item was expected to be in the millions.
Engine System Supplier
A major engine system supplier was attempting to expand out of the automotive market but was having difficulty translating their engine system experience from automotive applications to other engine applications. The target market was expecting complete systems exceeding the current market performance and reliability. The current engineering process was not allowing the company to be competitive in this new market.
ASI Consulting Group was called and began utilizing Robust Design for the engine system supplier for new engineering processes. Management support for this new method was skeptical at first. The group utilized the methodology on the target market products. The result for the group was that they were able to transition from 30 % below the competition in performance to 10 % above the competition. This was completed using a fraction of the resources and less than half the time of previous projects. This success allowed them to enter a new market and generate revenue that was not available previously.
Management recognized the power of this new process and began to expand it to other engineering groups. These groups were able to document resource and time savings of over 50 % on other engineering programs while delivering products that were far superior in performance and durability of previous released products.
A manufacturer of a popular electronic copier found that their customers wanted new features and functions, but the company also knew that implementations of new features and functions tended to be very slow and often required a lot of ‘guessing’ by engineers as to which features customers would like the most. Fear of the unknown continued to slow progress in launching their new models.
Electronic copier design, like any other machine, requires that engineers understand that the Voice of the Customer, Quality Function Deployment, and Concept Development methodologies. ASI demonstrated how the company’s competitors used such methodology to turn technological marvels into products customers want. Moreover, ASI showed that Robust Optimization methods could help make the products highly reliable. The corporation established a program to get engineers out and about with customers. Engineers essentially collaborated with customers to refine and prioritize an extensive list of possible features and functions.
The company launched a highly successful family of digital copiers that quickly replaced optical copiers.