Keywords: Quality Function Deployment (QFD), customer oriented design, Scientific Design Process (SDP)
Customer oriented scientific design: a "contradiction in terminis" or a winning combination?
Customer oriented design is more and more important. Quality Function Deployment is often used as a tool to better catch customer wants and has them translated into design specifications. The design specifications are then translated into design specifications of the production system. QFD is not always a sufficient tool to sustain the product management team through this translation process. The solution is found in adding elements from the method of the Scientific Design Process to QFD. In SDP, the following levels in design specifications are used: function, task, properties, and physical state. Process knowledge is the direct link between these design specifications for the product and the means of production. The design activity comprises decomposition in functions matched to a composition in tasks. The integration of SDP into QFD will reduce the number of iterations. The chance of a substantial number of design changes in retrospect is diminished and time to market reduced. Significant implication for R&D management is that it has to pay more attention to process knowledge.