Create fast results in even complex developments

Quality Target stands for fast development of high quality

  • materials
  • products
  • (parts of) processes
  • analytical measurement methods

As you will be well aware, achieving such developments fast and successfully is not obvious.

 

Why is Development usually far from Rapid?

Development is innovation, so we try to develop something without knowing exactly how. We need to build knowledge, which usually means: we need to experiment to build that knowledge.

The goal is simple: quickly and successfully build the knowledge to develop a product or process from a reasonable first attempt into meeting all quality aspects consistently. Yet, many innovations slow down or stop completely, because development teams are unable to optimize the process up to the point where the product meets all quality demands. Why is that?

Many development teams still use the experimentation technique that was developed at the time technology was invented: building on what is already known, by trying one thing, see what happens, then try the next thing. Most people still believe this is the logical thing to do when developing innovations. It is not. It sets up complex developments to fail.

Albert Einstein

The problem is that building knowledge by trying one thing at a time used to work for the fairly simple situations in the past and it matches the reasoning of the human brain. But it does NOT work for complex situations. In fact, it causes confusion, delays, insufficiently optimized processes or even complete failure of the development. A fundamentally different approach is needed.

Ensuring Rapid Development

Indeed a fundamentally different and more structured approach is available. It enables a team to build the required knowledge even in complex situations. The experimentation consists of coherent groups of experiments, that allow mathematical modelling of the quality. It structurally builds knowledge that provides answers. It forms the solid base to which new knowledge can be added, and the complexity of the process is rapidly unfolded towards clear understanding. Based on that, the optimum can easily be identified.

That approach is elegant and scientifically well worked out. It is often referred to as Design of Experiments, DoE or Experimental Design. It is less intuitive, but far more powerful to create fast and successful innovations. It allows fast optimization of property profiles of new products or processes. It assures that all quality demands will be met simultaneously and consistently if that is technologically feasible (if not, it will prove exactly that). Development engineers love the clear and understandable picture they get. In all the different stages of labscale, scale-up and going into production.

We are specialized in applying Design of Experiments and have done that in different production industries that develop products and processes. From pharmaceutical to steel. We can be available on temporary basis at your site, or we can transfer our knowledge to your people by training on the job or through courses.

Contact us now to speed up your developments, or learn more about different types of development:

 

The different Types of Development

The mathematical basis in the approach to achieve Rapid Development is quite similar in different types of developments. The common factor is to bring clarity in the complexity and with that, speed in the development.

Material Development

Material development involves compositional changes to optimize material properties. Examples can be the development of plastics, steel or concrete, but just as well pharmaceutical material, glue, a coating or dough to bake cookies. The composition and the factors in the process to produce the composition, like temperature or mixing, determine the material property profile. Such properties can be stiffness, strength or sensitivity to environmental conditions. But also properties that are important to further processing of the material, like flow behavior at different shear rates or temperatures, or stability under processing conditions.

Product Development

Product Development typically refers to the development of a physical product in its final shape. Examples could be motor helmets, electrical components, switches, membranes, complex metal shapes, pharmacy related products like crèmes or smart release pills, packaging structures, baked cookies and many more. Each product needs to comply with several quality demands. Those are not only physical properties like stiffness and impact resistance, but many more like appearance (that can be split into roughness, gloss, color, etc.), durability, reliability, shelf life, or even taste, smell, and many more. One single product usually has at least a dozen or more quality demands that all need to be satisfied.

Process Development

Each process ultimately serves the goal to produce a product that meets all its quality demands. In addition, the process may have quality demands not related to the final product. For example, the environmental impact and cost of the process will be important too. Material and product development typically require the development of their production processes. Therefore all developments may be closely intertwined, increasing the complexity of the optimization.

Development of Analytical Measurement Methods

The development of analytical analysis methods is (maybe surprisingly) nothing but a combination of the development types already described. The product is not of a physical form, but is the final measurement value (or group of several values). The quality demands of that value comprise the accuracy of that value: how reliably can the value be measured? The value is produced by a measurement process: several steps are needed to go from the original subject that needs to be measured, to the final measured value. Preparation steps like grinding, dissolving, filtering and diluting can easily be recognized as process steps that have settings like how much or how long. But also the injection of a fluid into for example a chromatographic column is a process step. And the travelling of the sample through the column is influenced by settings like flow speed, temperature, choice of column material and solvents. Also these are process settings. The final read-out value is influenced by how well chromatographic peaks are separated, which is linked to the combination of the process settings.
Finally, the developed measurement method requires a robustness analysis of the method. Design of Experiments can be used very effectively to perform a robustness analysis, reducing the amount of effort needed. When Design of Experiments was used while developing the analytical method, the subsequent robustness analysis can comprise even less effort, resulting in very rapid development of analytical measurement methods.

The real joy is in turning development from complexity to clarity. The resulting speed is just the consequence of the improved clarity and understanding. Experience Rapid Development in your environment. Contact us now, or learn more about how we work.