Invited Session: Robust Design
Applications of the Robust Method at Ford
John J. King
The Ford Design Institute (FDI) was created in November 1991 following a benchmarking study of companies with world-class product development capabilities. A key finding of the study was that the benchmarked companies had an engineering strategy to develop robust products by making systems insensitive to variation in customer usage conditions rather than by studying and eliminating the causes of quality problems. FDI's mission was to investigate and integrate such emerging technology into the Ford product development process through uniform education and training.
On-the-job Ford applications were required to gain experience with the Robust Method used by the benchmarking companies and to provide Ford examples for FDI's courses. The applications resulted in improvements in cost, quality, and timing; built confidence in the methodology; and overcame the initial doubts held by some. The findings and priciples have since been incorporated into a robustness curriculum and deployed to the technical workforce.
[John King, Ford Design Institute, Dearborn, Michigan USA; firstname.lastname@example.org ]
Date created: 6/5/2001