Original Date: 11/13/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : IPD/Product Development/Product Life Cycle
JLG modified its corporate philosophy from an engineering focus to a market-driven one in the early 1990s. The previous philosophy emphasized developing a new model and then presenting it to the sales department for marketing. Senior management has since cultivated a market-driven philosophy.
Specifications for a new machine were previously co-written by engineering and marketing personnel with little interaction until the prototype was built. After the prototype was reviewed, it was placed in the production cycle, and any remaining design issues and additional product development to meet market needs then would be addressed. This engineering-driven philosophy caused significant internal disruptions and inefficiencies in design and manufacturing due to unstable specifications. A competitive maturing market with more knowledgeable customers helped drive JLG to make changes in the process.
JLG's market-driven approach to design and production now encompasses the entire product life cycle from initial concept through termination or replacement. The first new models developed under the new process are nearing production. Booms, scissor lifts, and personnel lifts representing all primary product types are included in these new models. The new process emphasizes corporate strategic planning. Cross-functional teams and a team-based corporate culture have also been implemented. Registration to ISO 9001 has been accomplished, and continuous flow manufacturing (CFM) has been inserted into manufacturing processes. Product quality and reliability are emphasized, and quality is now defined by the customer. The product life cycle process is consistent with the ISO 9001 procedures and has been formalized as JLG corporate policy. The product life cycle process (Figure 3-1) consists of Idea, Concept, Feasibility, Design, Engineering, Pre-Production, Production, Maintenance, and Termination.
Results using the new process include stable product specifications throughout the project. The process is rigorous with approval gates to proceed to the following step. Reliability testing is emphasized in the new process, and products are developed as families based on common platforms. Designs are now market- and business-driven. Although process costs are higher in the front end of the process, payoffs are expected through fewer design modifications, reduced warranty costs, and fewer dissatisfied customers.
Figure 3-1. Product Life Cycle Process
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