1993-03-01

Organizing the Engineer's Toolbox 930836

QFD, FMEA, Process Improvement, Taguchi, Simultaneous Engineering, PDP, Project Management, DVP, DOE, …and the list goes on.
Today's automotive product design engineers face a myriad of “tools” (methodologies, techniques, procedures) that are expected to be mastered and used in the course of performing their job. The list continually grows with new tools being added to the existing ones. And each new tool has an associated acronym to add to the confusion.
New and inexperienced engineers are often confused by these tools being tossed at them …school did not cover all this ! The experienced engineer is often skeptical. After all, “if I have been a successful engineer for 20 years, why do I need to start doing these things now?”
Nevertheless, most of these tools are truly needed by engineers today in order to be competitive in the increasingly complex and sophisticated world of automotive product design.
The purpose of this paper is to suggest a way to organize this “box of tools” to help the engineer better understand how and when each tool is utilized. The paper suggests that the “tool box” be divided into 3 compartments, Technical tools, Project Management-Business tools, and Personal tools. It then describes various tools that go into each compartment, and how these tools aid engineers in the accomplishment of their job.

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