Micralyne Newslyne - September 2007

MEMS Tip List - MPQP Gating Process

As mentioned in the CEO Message, we have implemented the Micralyne product quality planning process (MPQP) to enhance the development of customer programs by integrating customer feedback and development within Micralyne's internal R&D-to-manufacturing structure.

MPQP is based upon a framework used in the automotive industry to help manage the development of new products from the early feasibility phase, through to manufacturing. Key activities, milestones and dependencies are identified in a proactive way and these serve as a basis of delivering, manufacturable solutions to customers within the required project timelines.

We have outlined the major aspects of MPQP below, which can be a guide for your product development activities.

Gate 1: Opportunity Review - Defining the product, the opportunity and the scope of the engagement

Make sure as a customer you understand the requirements of each MPQP gate. The more you know about what's involved in each gate, the better prepared you will be to integrate this approach into your programs.
Ensure Micralyne fully understands your needs - the details of the product being built and the program dependencies. The more knowledge the engineers and program managers have, the better they will be able to adapt the development activities to fit your needs.
Identify the critical needs of your product in terms of technical performance and the timeline for implementation into an overall product development schedule.
Identify any unique requirements in your internal product quality planning development activities that Micralyne will need to feed into.

Gate 2: Feasibility Phase - Assessing initial performance and capability
Work closely with Micralyne while performing the DFMEA (Design Failure Mode and Effects Analysis) and PFMEA (Process Failure Mode and Effects Analysis). This enables advance planning for product design, process integration and process control which is imperative for assuring strong product quality and manufacturability.
Identify and define any special characteristics of your product, as they could become critical specifications. If Micralyne is fully aware of these specifications, key processes can be identified in advance and the appropriate attention to detail can be incorporated (in terms of process windowing, process monitoring, equipment monitoring and process capability mapping).
At the end of this phase, devices will be produced that demonstrate compliance with initial specifications, identify potential process capability and assess outstanding design and process risk elements.

Gate 3: Prototype Phase - The gateway to manufacturing
Design and/or process enhancements will be identified and fed into a "beta" re-spin. This will require joint review of performance capabilities against specifications and co-operation on design and process enhancements.
Key deliverables are supplied during this phase that will form the basis of agreeing on performance specifications and demonstrating product quality.
At the end of this phase, the specification and product performance will have been demonstrated.
The price estimate for the product is updated to reflect the product specification, design and process capability to provide you with guidance for production pricing.
Ensure the manufacturing pilot phase is scheduled in line with your product launch timeline.
Note that at the end of this phase, the product will be transferred to a "pilot manufacturing" phase where Micralyne hands processes over to manufacturing from R&D. Hence, the prototype phase will have needed to demonstrate compliance to specification and process capability. At the end of this phase, the customer will be asked to provide formal acceptance of specification and performance of devices delivered.

Gate 4: Pilot Phase
Manufacturing will be producing a limited-quantity run to demonstrate compliance with customers' expectations and the ability to manufacture at forecast volumes.
At the end of this phase, manufacturing will be wholly accountable for delivery and sustaining product.
Product pricing is committed.

Finally, after the Pilot Phase, the product moves into volume production where the focus becomes continuous improvement, in terms of quality and yield enhancements, and cost reduction strategies.

As you can see from these tips, the key to making the MPQP process flow more easily is teamwork and excellent communication between you and Micralyne.

For more information about MPQP please contact us.

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Contact Information: Micralyne Inc.
1911-94 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T6N 1E6
Phone: 1.780.431.4400 Fax: 1.780.431.4422

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