Development process of NGK products

On average the development of a new products takes approximately three years, during which the manufacturer and supplier work together closely.
On average, the development of a new spark plug/glow plug or sensor type takes approximately three years from the project start until the beginning of serial production

On average, the development of a new spark plug/glow plug or sensor type takes approximately three years from the project start until the beginning of serial production (SOP).

Normally the original equipment team is involved in or decisively leads the respective project stages, from the initial customer enquiry to the start of production. NGK often supports its customers long before the official project start of new developments through common tests, exchange of know-how and supply of prototypes.

After the initial testing by the customer in the predevelopment stage, the development towards the start of production is begun with the contract awarding procedure.

In the initial step NGK views the customer-provided specification books and then aligns the product specification with the customer specification book as necessary.

Before a product is ready for serial production it must pass through numerous project stages in the scope of the development cycle.
Project stages (A-F) for the development of new products were defined by the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA)

Focus on installation position and orientation

Shortly thereafter, the first CAD drafted prototype design sees the light of day. The customer is also completely involved in this process. At this point in time, special attention is usually given to installation position and orientation. Already at this early stage in the project, NGK composes user instructions adapted to the respective application, which are geared towards the customer's and/or the control unit supplier's application engineers.

In the ideal scenario the conditions on the real object are already tested and the initial functional tests are already performed with the first prototype engines and vehicles. In this connection NGK tests the interplay between control unit and product under normal and extreme conditions.

From the prototype to the creation of a close-to-production product design

Additional prototypes delivered for the customer's various project milestones are normally incorporated into additional functional tests as well as in engines and vehicles for durability testing.

After successful installation testing on the prototype the creation of a close-to-production product design can begin. With the customer's approval of the design, the initial sampling of parts numbers is begun, depending on the project schedule.

Whenever a so-called milestone was successfully completed, work continues to the next item in the development cycles. The final milestone leads to the production.
Milestones established by the VDA serve for defining a project phase

Product and process approval

For this purpose, NGK verifies the functionality, accuracy to size, material conformity including IMDS (International Material Data System) on the basis of a representative production volume, as well as the process capability of significant product specifications. If necessary, NGK performs a final inspection together with the customer at the respective production location in the scope of this initial sampling.

Additional relevant and well-kept documentation in the scope of the product approval includes the DFMEA (Design Failure Mode Effects Analysis), PFMEA (Process Failure Modes and Effects Analysis), control plans, process flow plans, etc., which are discussed and approved together with the customer.

After successful conclusion of all functional and endurance tests and the product and process approval on the part of the customer, the products is released for production for the engine or vehicle plant.