Investigating More Capable Processes for New Products
When some of the current and alternative manufacturing processes are not capable, additional manufacturing options in materials and processes have to be explored. A common solution is to invest in new plants and equipment, or to select new suppliers that can offer greater quality in manufacturing. In many of these cases, the benefit cost analysis of these higher-capability processes is not known. A DoE could be used to determine the relative importance of quality improvements using these new processes. The DoEs used in this case are more general and should optimize a universal manufacturing process, in contrast to the focused DoEs for improving current processes, such as the one discussed in Section 8.1. The DoEs tend to be survey-related, scanning the current spectrum of materials and how to process them in order to quantify the quality improvements. They are combination designs, or successive investigations for narrowing down the material or process alternatives, then optimizing the final few selections with a more in-depth DoE.