The modern manufacturing world has been driven to compete in a more international and interconnected system. This has led to increased focus upon frameworks and architectures to guarantee quality, high market acceptance, and reduce cost. Modern manufacturing design processes evolved largely from Henry Ford at Ford Motor Company, and Alfred Sloan at General Motors. Their structures embody two different focuses on quality and value engineering which have influenced many recent design frameworks. In the 1970s a heavy emphasis was placed upon Design for Manufacturing, which uses group technology, commonality of processes, and continual focus to reduce part count. Some companies have desired a design process that better accounts for new market needs and Voice of the Customer changes, allowing them to break out of the old processes by using a new framework called Design for Six Sigma. Contextual and survey analysis contrasting DFSS and DFM showed these systems have different definitions of what creates value; which causes a different focus on how to improve value. As the market frequently errs at knowing when to apply DFM or DFSS, using a simple case study of a product with high part and assembly cost, teams were challenged to create a better flashlight using both DFM for part reduction, and DFSS for function improvement. The aim was to increase value. Value has been defined by the formula: value = (performance + capability) / cost or as value = function/cost. Results from the case study combining DFM and DFSS constructs demonstrate a total value engineering construct. It was also shown that DFM indicated effectiveness for a slow-changing market with cost reduction focus, and DFSS demonstrated effectiveness for analyzing continually changing market needs. Disruptive innovations can replace a formerly lull market, for which DFM can be completely unprepared; while DFSS is not effective in slow product-change markets. Incorporating the best of DFSS and DFM creates a Total Value Engineering framework.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Technology



Date Submitted


Document Type





David Christensen, DFSS, six sigma, design for six sigma, design for manufacturing, value engineering, total value engineering



Technology Emphasis

Manufacturing Systems (MS)