At DCYI, we´re always engaged with our clients. Because we both offer solutions and provide the knowledge transfer necessary to make those solutions actionable, our business involves a great deal of communication. In the spirit of communication, we´d like to tell you about some of the great experiences we´ve had interacting with clients. We´ll also be asking our clients to submit short articles about their on-the-job experiences.

Directly below you´ll find short blog entries that describe some interesting details about our work in the field, as well as feedback from our customers. We hope that you´ll respond with both questions and comments. The goal is continuous dialogue: conversations that can help advance both our business and yours.

DCYI Welcomes Reader Comments

by DCYI on May 28, 2010

DCYI welcomes our readers to comment on subjects of product development, process re-design, or other related subjects.

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In the development of many products, fastener selection is often neglected until the design is being finalized. In applications where fasteners are required, they should be among the first parts to be considered.

One of the first questions to ask is does the fastener have to carry load or is it only there to hold the part in a specific location? Either answer will raise another set of questions: What is the applied load? What materials are being clamped together? What are the environmental conditions? Depending on the application, other questions may need to be answered. Every answer is important, because if these issues aren’t addressed, the fasteners chosen could be inappropriate for the design.

During the development stage of the design, the selected fasteners should be tested for the appropriate torque and clamp load, using the parts that will clamped together. This will ensure that the torque specification developed for the manufacturing/assembly plant will work with the production parts. During the validation stage, when the design goes into final testing, the fasteners should be tightened to the specification and indexed for monitoring during duty-cycle testing.
Fasteners must be considered throughout the product development cycle. They should be part of the equation when developing the functional objectives for the product, as well as during design and development and validation testing. Obviously, fastener choice is key to efficient manufacturing and product assembly. Finally, fasteners are a vital concern in determining the aftermarket serviceability of a product.

Most fastener-related recalls are in the automotive industry, per the editor of the American Fastener Journal (12/2009). However, other products have had recalls due to fastener problems. One example is the recent recall of the Evenflo Envision High Chairs (April, 2009).

There is a great opportunity to significantly reduce the number of product recalls due to fastener problems if proper care is taken in fastener selection, development, and validation.


DCYI Goes to Washington

by admin on April 7, 2010

DCYI President, Jeff Zyburt, was recently asked to participate in a Department of Defense roundtable discussion. The meeting was called in order to generate ideas for improving the design, development, and testing processes applicable to defense system procurement.

Anyone who reads the news knows that Washington has a long history of defense department delays and cost overruns. Frequently, the defense systems produced don’t meet the needs of the military. In order to improve the process, the National Academy of Science sought help from private industry.

Five industry experts addressed the group in their area of expertise over two days of meetings. Jeff was one of those chosen to present. While the other four focused on software and electronics, Jeff’s discussed the entire design and development cycle. He explained how Voice of the Customer research — in this case input from the soldiers — is essential to the process. He went on to demonstrate how the equipment requirement can be translated into measurable functional objectives and ways in which the design can be validated before any hardware is produced.

Jeff believes that the Department of Defense procurement procedures could be vastly improved by implementing processes used in the best civilian industries. Of course defense contractors who utilize advanced process and verification techniques have an opportunity to position themselves as leaders.

A report complete with recommendations will b published by the National Academy of Science in May. DCYI will post a link as soon as it’s available.