INNOVATION July-August 2015

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Quality Function Deployment (QFD) to rank and prioritize product requirements, and Failure Modes and Effects Analyses (FMEA) to identify failure modes, severities, and mitigations to avoid product failures. Commercialization of a product is closely related to, and often follows closely behind, technology develop- ment, particularly when innovation is motivated by the potential for return on investment. The profit motive can lead to conflict, particularly when product require- ments exceed technological capabilities, or reveal additional unforeseen requirements. Often in these cases, the instinct is to attempt to solve the technical issue concurrently with continuing product

development, diverting resources and introducing further risk in the form of changes required to support technical solutions. For example, solving a technology problem may require increasing the spaces between components; this increases the size of the product, which then affects tooling and packaging requirements. Risks increase with the amount of time taken to investigate and resolve technology issues, so commercialization plans may be altered to take the form of a licensing agreement or joint venture in lieu of direct entry to consumer mar- kets. Conversely, successful products are often developed from technologies acquired from external sources. Marketing Challenges Marketing identifies or creates a demand for the ‘latest and greatest’ new product, creating value by increasing sales. Without that demand, products go unsold, and innovations may not be commercialized. Marketing is usually considered in the context of the consumer, but demand for innovation may also come from internal sources, creating value by avoiding costs. The need to reduce downtime caused by process bottlenecks may spur the innovative layout of a manufacturing facility. Often, marketing is credited with being the first step in the process of innovation, by capturing the voice of the customer and feeding Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and Pugh charts to rank and prioritize functional and performance requirements for new products or services. This demand can be identified through customer surveys, focus groups or measurements of key metrics related to service quality. For internal clients, quality tools like Failure Reporting Analysis and Corrective Action systems (FRACAs) identify areas where innovative solutions to existing problems can add value to the organization. Manufacturing and Distribution Challenges Manufacturing, production and distribution deliver the results of innovation to the customer. Once the innovative technology is commercialized into a product or service that appeals to consumers, it must be produced, packaged and delivered in quantities sufficient to meet market demand. The field of Quality Engineering has done much to study, reduce and control variability related to the production of components. Quality Management sys- tems such as Design for Six Sigma (DFSS) or Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) exist to ensure that production parts are faithful recreations of documented designs, but innovative products may strain the capabili- ties of traditional manufacturing techniques (and quality controls), or may demand innovative manufacturing tech- niques that require extensive measurement and analysis before their output can be controlled—both of which increase the risks of production delays, as well as high scrap rates or re-work for value-added products. Scaling up a process used for making prototypes invites other


Filtered Dry Stack Tailings Paterson & Cooke offers dewatering, transport and distribution solutions Vancouver Office 306-595 Howe Street 604 687 7704


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