Strategy should be based on
knowledgeable premises and the right goals



Knowledgeable Premises:

. Each knowledgeable premise comes from the wifedom of the most advanced training and books. Optimal premises include:

Thorough Up-front Work, which is the key to:

• Half the time to stable production
Commercialize designs that the desired functionality can be made at the desired price.
Plan the product portfolio to be able build any product family version at the lowest cost on-demand without inventory.

• Resource Availability is assured by

Concurrent Engineering, which needs half the resources at half the budget, as shown by the graphics in this white paper
Product  Portfolio Planning/Rationalization to rationalize away resource -draining-losing legacy and low-volume products

The right goals are based on the following:

Cost Goals

• The wrong goal for cost is just “cost,” which is usually based mostly on parts cost, which often encourages trying cost reduction after design which doesn’t work and actually compromised functionality , quality, and product development itself as shown graphically in Figure 1.2 in the author’s DFM book.

• The right goal for cost is the absolute lowest selling price which is based on

“Half cost ” design techniques that can reduce many cost categories from half to 10 times time less cost, and

Rationalize away money-losing products that will be replaced with “half cost” products, platform products, and build-to-order

unfortunately, many more companies compile the wrong cost goals than the right goals - and worse - have systems that enforce those goals no matter how much it costs.


• The wrong goals for time are “release date,” arbitrary deadlines, first prototype available, or “time to market” which usually means “throw it over the wall on time.”  See the article:How_not_to_lower_cost.

• The right goal for half the  time is time to stable production.

Unfortunately, many more companies compile the wrong time metric than the time to stable production.


What the Wong Premise Can do to Strategy

Decades ago, the premise for product development was that companies had to shoose between cost, quality and time-to-market!

Proponents of this premise would quip: "we can only have two, " while cynics sais, "maybe that is only one."  One leading management "guru" book confidently said that companies had to make the "winner's choice about thich one(s) to be good and use as a competitive weapon.

The flip side of such faulty think was to identify which companies were worst at, and then use the only desperate measures they could think of, like substituting cheap parts, low-bidding, and   OffshorIng , which is known to waste 2/3 of product development resources!

 Then 30 years ago, the first edition of author's DFM book came out with the sub-title that boldly  said: "Optimizing Cost, Quality, and Time-to-Market"  (see cover at right).  And this  siite and  the  lastest 2014 book shows how to do all that.

The General Strategy to avoid an either/or Dilemma

Similarly, here is here is the general approach to avoid either/or dilemmas and formulate a both/and strategy.

Gather enough experts to have creating brainstorming sessions to formulate strategies to implement acceptable solutions.

Be sure to have a facilitator and a broad range of experts that can thoroughly understands the opportunities and challenges of both “horns of the dilemma” of conundrum.


Supporting Strategies

Standardization is the foundation for the following:
                See Standardization article

  • Build-to-Order & Mass Customization, which will
  • eliminate Finished-Goods Inventory; see Inventory reduction    
  • ship custom products right-away to customers or stored
  • Inventory Elimination
  • Cut material overhead by 10 times and easily get credit for that on standard parts.
  • Delivery parts "dock--to-line" without incoming inspections or inventory.

Design Products for  BTO, and Platforms  
            See:  Designing products for Lean Production      

Design and Build Product Families
        Design products that can be Built to Order as Product Families  with plant cell layouts 

Implement Manufacturable Research or commercialize  products after they are design



Valuable resources should focus on what is more important to customers
and get the rest off-the-shelf; see Section 5.18 in the
DFM book.

This strategy assured the best customer satisfaction at the lowest cost at the highest quality at the fastest time to stable production

For example, a vast array of the following proven off-the-shelf modules are readily available:

  • Processing Printed Circuit Boards (PCBs, sometimes called Single Board Computers)
  • Computation PCBs
  • Memory PCBs
  • Input/Output PCBs
  • Communication PCBs         
  • and all of the cabinetry to house and connect all of the above boards in standard bus card cages.

    A key element to success is to implement this strategy
    before arbitrary decisions preclude the use of Off-the Shelf parts and systems..


    STRATEGY TO DESIGN custom processing equipment

Ultra-Low-Cost frames can be built can be built automatically on ordinary CNC machine tools working in flexible cells using Cellular/Flexible  Manufacturing  principle and then be assembled rigidly and precisely by DFM principles.

Again, a key element to success is to implement this strategy
before arbitrary architecture layouts preclude such opportunities.



The conventional  Premise:  Generate solar "energy," which most focus  and examples = electricity

The premise for an Optimal Solar Strategy:

    Concentrated Solar Power “energy” comes in from the Sun as heat that goes to

        1.  Electricity  Boil steam to generate electricity at no more than 25% efficiency.  At this efficiency, no form of solar "energy should be used for heat, which can be generated directly at four times the efficiency.

        2.  Heat.  Use  virtually all of it directly as hear, from smaller fields, to provide

60% of industrial energy consumption* is Heat and

Virtually all of desalination on energy consumption is Heat  and, in the future, solar heat could be a large percentage of that:

 • Solar heat is being spoken of as the most efficient way to generate hydrogen, without generating CO2 as the current petroleum fuels do when they are burned to generate hydrogen. S olar hydrogen could be used for all the "hydrogen economy" opportunities like fueling vehicles. 
        Solar generated hydrogen can be piped (or trucked) to factories, processing plants, apartments, offices,  campuses, and even ships  that can be far from Solar Concentrated Solar Heat fields that can generate hydrogen as the sun  shines and then store the hydrogen (in low-cost tanks)  for round-the-clock solar power.  Then hydrogen can then be:

  • "Burned" directly for heat wherever needed, with the only "exhaust" being water vapor.

  • Converted to electricity using an internal- combustion coupled to a generator (again only exhausting water vapor).  This would not need bulky and expensive steam generators and turbines.

  Provide the Heat to Generate bio-mass to fuel vehicles, such as bio-Diesel for trucks, trains, ships, generators, cars. and bio-mass (non-petroleum) heating "oil" (Note that bio-mass is considered "carbon neutral,"  since plants generated oxygen the whole time they are growing, which cancels out the CO2 that is generated when they die or are burned).

Provide  the Heat to Convert bio-mass to bio-gas and feed through existing pipelines, which could be converted in homes to electricity through fuel-cells with the majority of the energy that goes to "waste" heat (inherent in all electricity production)  going to space heating  or  water heating.  This "co-gen" (co-generation) makes use of almost all of the input energy.

The last scenarios compares:

• Using solar heat to generate electricity at the plant at 25% efficiency and distributing it over the grid, which has losses and may have to be built to new solar fields or upgraded in capacity.  This is compared to:

• Using solar heat to process bio-mass (mostly organic waste) into bio-gas, pipe it to homes, and then use fuel-cells (widely used in Japan) to convert virtually all of that energy to electricity and heating.


* Maximizing Solar Heat for Industry.  Concentrated Solar Heat (CSH) needs to be planned and designed to maximize the amount of industrial heat that comes from the Sun.   Here is what the strategy  CSH industry needs to pursue:

  • Lower the cost to economically provide enough capacity for large factories and processing plants.

  • Make CSH fields small enough to be sited near all large heat "users."  Don't expect factories and processing plants to locate next to remote CSP plants.

  •  Don't  couple CSP and CSH  that are too large for most industrial plants  or can't be located near enough

  • Raise the temperature  to provide heat for virtually all industrial processes and hot enough to generate hydrogen (above).

  •  Develop higher-temperature Heliostat mirror fields as done with solar furnaces,  which currently use two-stage mirrors.  Research has been on single stage heliostats by focusing mirror "facets" but the extra set of computer controls was too expensive for CSP or CSH.  However, clever mechanism design could do this at low cost in more compact fields that generate higher temperatures, as proposed in Example # 3:  Linkage coupling of mirrors for ultra-low-cost mirror guidance and 25 times better focus!

The purpose of this logic is for energy planning  energy strategies and generating strategies for product development and commercialization of all of the above.


All of these principles on DFM can be included in
customized class and workshop on DFM or
Advanced Product Development class 


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         If your company makes any products that have similar opportunities, contact Dr. Anderson for your own proposal for workshops or design studies that will show you how greatly lower the cost of your hardest-to-design parts.  As a Certified Management Consultant (CMC), Dr. Anderson's high ethical standards  prevent  him from doing this for direct competitors, which means the first to bring him in gets a unique competitive advantage. 

To discuss this further, contact:

Dr. David M. Anderson, P.E.; CMC; Fellow, ASME

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