Quality During Design Podcast Blog

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Why Look to Standards

Standards are everywhere, and lots of organizations are sourcing and creating them. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission held a workshop 2019 that recently made the news, again, in July 2021. It was called “Nixing the Fix: a Workshop on Repair Restrictions”. Here’s what it’s about: manufacturers are not creating products with standard parts, or their…

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Getting the Voice of the Customer

Before we can link customer needs to design, production, and service of our products, we need to listen to and understand the voice of the customer.  We review 6 common VOC collection strategies, and talk about their pros and cons. We also discuss an affinity diagram process, which may help our team organize all of…

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The Way We Test Matters

We can look at test methods like a product in and of itself. Because tests also have requirements and need to produce usable results, we validate against those requirements. Validating our test method also ensures that they are precise and accurate.  We talk about things to consider when looking at product tests: tying test methods to the…

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Designing Specs for QA

Creating specs for suppliers and producers is generally at the forefront of our thoughts about the activity. But, it’s also important to design for our QA friends, too, for inspection. We talk about what acceptance sampling is all about. We also step through a thought process for identifying and creating design features for inspection using…

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Every Failure is a Gift

When designs fail we can take on damaging mindsets while we’re deciding our next steps, and this can lead us to bad decisions. We explore this and give some examples of pitfalls. We also talk about what to do within the design-realm to prepare for and combat those mindsets. Finally, I share my mantra when…

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Understanding the Purposes behind Kaizen

In the quality world, kaizen is a tool for continuous improvement under the umbrella of a Lean philosophy. The quality-tool kaizen is just one layer of a larger, overarching idea that we benefit from small, incremental improvements made consistently. Kaizen as a tool involves all employees of the company toward continuous improvement. The way kaizen events are…

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Fishbone Diagram: A Supertool to Understand Problems, Potential Solutions, and Goals

A Fishbone Diagram is named for its looks because it resembles the bones of a fish drawn on paper. Its less creative names are Cause-and-Effect Diagram and Ishikawa Diagram. It’s popularly known to help with root cause analysis. But, we can also use it to help with goals and to evaluate a potential solution. Why…

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What is ‘Production Equivalent’ and Why Does it Matter?

We’re in the middle of our design process and we’re getting some of the first parts in hand, from prototyping or benchtops or our manufacturing cell. Let’s test them and finish our verification testing! Maybe we shouldn’t. We talk about the concept of production equivalent: what it means and when it’s important to consider. VIEW THE…

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About Visual Quality Standards

“A picture is worth a thousand words” is an old saying, and it holds true! Visual standards, visual aids, and quality standards are a great tool, especially in design when communicating the limits of acceptability. This episode explores areas to capture this type of information and how it can be used not just for Quality…

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Using the Pareto Principle and Avoiding Common Pitfalls

The likeness of the Pareto Principle can be compared to Murphy’s Law and the Peter Principle: it’s a curious phenomenon. So, how did it make its way into quality? If using it to make decisions, there are some common pitfalls which can lead to delays in fixing a problem or even misdirect our efforts. So,…

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