System integration starts with the customer. The voice of the customer carries through the product design and integration process to the actual production and marketing of the product. Within the product design, process design, and production processes, specific tools are useful for ensuring customer satisfaction. The specific tools are concurrent engineering (CE), robust design (RD), quality functional deployment (QFD), statistical process control (SPC), and cost of poor quality (COPQ).
Concurrent engineering is useful during the product and process planning and design phases for integrating functions and subsystems. Parallel work leads to cross-functional consultation and improves communication on integration issues. Such an approach also reduces the cycle time and cost of product development. Quality functional deployment is beneficial for clarifying the voice of the customer throughout the entire process. Robust design focuses on designing quality by eliminating loss through integration. Statistical process control is a technique for measuring process behavior during project management, testing, integration, and production. Cost of poor quality emphasizes eliminating waste in all the processes.
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