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Value Analysis: Examples

The Quality Toolbook > Value Analysis > Examples

When to use it | How to understand it | Example | How to use it | Practical variations


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A product manager at a company that produced nails had received several requests from customers for a nail that could not work loose. Identifying this 'improved nail' as a possible new product line, he decided to do a Value Analysis to help identify costs and values.

Working with a major customer in the building industry, he first identified the basic function and measure of an ideal nail as holding two 1cm battens together, such that when the battens were twisted, the wood would break before the nails moved.

With an engineering team, this was broken down into secondary functions, which were evaluated and related to components and costs as below . During this process, the concept of how the nail gripped the wood was discussed. They brainstormed alternative ways of gripping wood, and an engineer, who was also an amateur fisherman, came up with the idea of putting barbs on the nails.

The initial prototype was partially successful, but did become a little loose after a period. Spiral barbs helped, and straight barbs on the top of the nail resulted in the nail being locked in place by the final hammer blow.

The solution was produced as a specialist nail, and sold well at twice the price of a normal nail, more than covering the increased production costs.



Fig. 1. Example Value Analysis


Other examples

  • An engineer in a motor manufacturer does a Value Analysis on the motor casing and the process used to build it. He finds three different sizes of nuts and bolts used, with significant time taken to insert and tighten them. A redesign of the casing changes this to use one size of bolt with threaded bolt holes, which removes the need for nuts. The result is a savings in both material costs and assembly time.
  • A marketing manager for a washing-up liquid analyzed the liquid bottle and its use. She discovered that the bottle became slippery when liquid dribbled down the side of the bottle. The shape of the bottle and the spout were both changed to improve grip and reduce dribble. Without any additional advertising, sales of the product subsequently went up by 2%.
  • A receptionist, aiming to improve the process of welcoming guests, first determines the basic functions of relaxing guests and finding the objective of their visit. She then identifies her process for achieving these and brainstorms possible improvements. By experimenting with several approaches over two months, she finds the manner and questioning technique that best achieves her objective.



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