Ensure the success of a product launch by leveraging optimal Quality Planning

By Valentina Lupo

Consumers are requesting more innovation, faster delivery and cheaper products to the market, while demanding fulfillment of higher quality and safety standards. Hence, consumer expectations are increasing. How can you always produce the best possible Quality at an affordable price? How can you avoid the risks of a recall campaign or brand damage if adverse event is publicized?

It is fundamental to address quality from the very beginning of a product’s development and production cycle. This is mandatory for manufacturers that need to ensure “best-in-class” results and avoid costly changes in later planning or implementation stages.

How to move from market challenges to new product introduction (NPI) by avoiding threats

Let’s focus on a forward-looking approach to quality, which incorporates advanced product quality planning (APQP) methodology, a recognized best practice, especially in the automotive industry.

A new product initiates its lifecycle as a requirement, by considering the “Voice of the Customer”. Integrating Quality data early in the design process can provide a competitive and cost advantage, beyond other business strategies. By means of sophisticated methods of product development, it grows to a system, then a logical structure until being a virtual product.

As initial step, it is important to consider the management of the new project as starting point. Project managers must manage several activities from different domains, such as engineering, manufacturing and quality.

Siemens extends the conventional Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle in Quality Management to Engineering and Manufacturing domains

In the Quality domain, the standards and guidelines help the user by suggesting best practices and the optimal path. We can include approaches like APQP (Advanced product quality planning) and PPAP (Production Part Approval Process), which ensure the project quality is monitored and approved in alignment with respective milestones. By associating checklists under a Q-Gate or Milestone, the quality manager ensures that quality targets are met for all deliverables of each domain. The checklists are following common industry standards of Advance Product Quality Planning. All needed tasks are characterized as a list of closed questions that can be answered with comments and attached evidences to record implementation of the respective area, with a useful rating (RYG).

Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) is an essential part of Quality Planning. FMEA is an advanced tool to identify and mitigate risks from potential failures in the virtual product to avoid potential costly defects during the lifecycle of the real product. According to risk analysis principles, it is known that risks can be eliminated, mitigated or accepted. The Control Plan is an additional toolset that helps to control critical elements during the manufacturing processes, where the potential risk could not be fully mitigated, but controlled systematically to identify defective parts.

Leveraging on a strong planning stage, it is possible to make sure requirements are met, while providing extensive transparency for all deliverables, and move forward to the next stages with confidence. The systematic approach to Quality Planning, especially when it is supported by the tools offered on the collaboration platform of Teamcenter, helps optimize teamwork, shorten development time, increase product quality and improve customer satisfaction.

Discover more about Quality Planning today.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at