The key to a well-executed product launch is a thoughtful, well-documented plan that contains several crucial elements. A 3-year product volume ramp plan, a capacity ramp plan, FMEA, PFMEA, risk analysis, NPD readiness reviews, control plans, and engineering process reviews are just some of the many tools that are used by ISO organizations in preparation for product launch.
Many times the question is asked, “When is it a good time to start planning for product launch”? It is always important to “begin with the end in mind”. Planning for product launch should begin on day one of the product concept. If the product concept has been properly vetted, then the design to cost (DTC) goal and projected volume product demand should be well understood at the beginning of the project. These two pieces of data, along with the upstream customer requirement, should drive the design, the process, and the 3-year product volume ramp plan. With these pieces in place, the design team can work toward a frozen design that meets the customer requirement. Meanwhile, the process team can be working concurrently to meet the projected launch date with a process capacity ramp plan that will exceed the projected volumes within the DTC goal.
Microelectronic assembly suppliers need to work closely with their customers to help resolve product weaknesses or field failures in an assembly. They have to develop microelectronic assembly processes that will reduce or eliminate field issues and quality excursions. Developing a solid control plan for an assembly process is a great way to get started. During the design and development phase of the product, failure mode analysis tools like DFMEA and PFMEA can uncover most of the areas in which control needs to be established. Once the assembly process is in production mode and the control plan is being followed, data can be collected and fed back into the process for continued improvement. In the six sigma environment, this would be described by the acronym DMAIC, to Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. Using these techniques the product or assembly begins under control, remains under control, and improves quality over time with reduced cost and greater profitability.