Yuquiyu Motors planned to phase out its popular Y08 engine by 2002 in compliance with emissions standards and to introduce a new engine, the Y11, to fill its place in the market. However, the Y11 failed emission tests in 1998, so it had to be fully redesigned and retested. The project manager of the Y11 engine faced a difficult assignment and had to determine the next course of action.
There are three specific educational objectives of using this case study in a classroom:
- First, this case study showcases how a two-stroke engine is built and the issues in bringing an engine to the market. The problem with the engine was that it failed the emission test because the engine released more than the permissible amount of HC+NOx in the atmosphere. Students are provided an opportunity to come up with solutions to this design problem.
- Second, the case provides an example of the use of the “house of quality” framework. This framework enhances the understanding of tradeoffs and synergies that exist among various technical and market requirements and help the students visualize how a firm balances multiple criteria in choosing a design option.
- Third, the case underlines the importance of better communication between engineering design, manufacturing, MIS, and other divisions of a company. It shows that in this company, there was very little linkage between the information systems used by designers and the manufacturing employees. Improved linkages could lead to more efficient systems and higher profitability for the company.
- Fourth, students get an opportunity to analyze managerial decisions that consider both engineering and business aspects associated with product development. The case provides a context to illustrate the benefits of using an Enterprise information system (for example, SAP R/3) in a company. SAP R/3 is a complex system and many students have difficulty understanding its use by a large organization. The case shows how Yuquiyu Motors (YM) used SAP R/3 during many stages of its product life cycle.
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