The final phase of establishing a good systems producibility
function was to provide a feedback mechanism for engineers and management. The
producibility indices plan had three main goals:
To define objective, quantitative measures of design quality
relative to manufacturability. Thresholds based on meeting "generally
accepted manufacturing methods and processes" were set.
To use indices based on previously established design
flowcharts and design support checklists.
To improve effectiveness of producibility support efforts;
most specifically, to improve support discipline, design awareness, and
management visibility, and to objectively measure design
The metrics involved in the feedback system for one division of
the company provide an example of the indices plan. It was based on PWB minimum
design criteria, drawing review/cycle time, and customer satisfaction.
Determining customer satisfaction involved sending out evaluations to internal
and external customers to rate the program on support characteristics and
activities. Customer satisfaction evaluation results were tabulated and
presented in line chart form with information on the activity, importance,
performance on the last program, and the variance between the latter two.
The indices used for measuring producibility program
progress/success were and continue to be upgraded on a yearly basis, determined
by issues that are important to industry and/or the company. Those indices are
decided by personnel directly involved in the marketing, design, and
Another method of measuring performance to producibility
requirements was through the use of rating techniques. This would be performed
at documentation approval to give immediate feedback to the engineers and
managers of the predicted performance to pre-established producibility goals.
There were several techniques and tools for rating designs such as the
producibility analysis tools which could have incorporated measurement systems.
A numeric rating with pass/fail thresholds was another acceptable index. Manual
checklists verifying compliance with design guidelines were also useful tools.
Special expert audit teams were considered. The key to using rating techniques
was to have a rating prior to the beginning of hardware production so both
engineering and manufacturing understood the risks that exist in a design.
Engineering change requests for manufacturing related improvements could also
provide an important measurement of the effectiveness of a producibility
program, and would be continually analyzed to provide an additional design
rating and assist updating the producibility engineer's understanding of design-
driven manufacturing problems.