Product Design Process - Explained
What is the Product Design Process?
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Table of ContentsWhat is the Product Design Process?What is Generating Ideas?What is Product Screening?What is Preliminary Product Design?What is Product Final Design?What is Product Design Evaluation?Methods for Improving Product DesignWhat is Design for Manufacture (DFM)?What is Concurrent Engineering?
What is the Product Design Process?
The product design process involves the steps of:
- Generating ideas
- Product screening
- Preliminary design, and
- Final design.
What is Generating Ideas?
Sources for ideas for products include:
- market research,
- customer viewpoints,
- the organization‟s research and development (R&D)
- competitors or relevant developments in new technology.
What is Product Screening?
The screening process consists of:
- Market Analysis - Market analysis consists of evaluating the product concept with potential customers through interviews, focus groups and other data collection methods. It determines whether there is sufficient demand for the product. At a strategic level the organization can use the product life cycle to determine the likely cost and volume characteristics of the product.
- Economic Analysis - Economic Analysis consists of developing estimates of production and demand costs and comparing them with estimates of demand. It begins with an estimate of demand and production costs. Techniques such as cost/benefit analysis, decision theory and accounting measures such as net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR) may be used to calculate the profitability of a product. The cost-volume-profit model that provides a simplified representation that can be used to estimate the profit level generated a product at a certain product volume.
- Technical Analysis - Technical analysis consists of determining whether technical capability to manufacture the product.
- Strategic Analysis - Strategic analysis involves ensuring that the product provides a competitive edge for the organization, drawing on its competitive strengths and is compatible with the core business.
What is Preliminary Product Design?
Preliminary product design requires specification of the components of the product.
It involves laying out a product or service structure outlining the relationship between the components and a bill of materials or list of component required to make the product.
Further, it includes creating a map of the sequence of activities which are undertaken.
What is Product Final Design?
The final design stage involves using a prototype to test the preliminary design until a final design can be chosen.
Modeling software and Simulation Modeling can be used to construct a computer-based prototype of the product design.
What is Product Design Evaluation?
The major product design evaluation methods include:
- CAD simulation models: Capable of producing simulations of the product at various stages of production.
- Checklists: Identify steps in the production process and presence of characteristics.
- Interviewing Users: Determine user wants, needs, perceptions of the product.
- Mock-up Evaluation: Evaluation of the product be users.
- Motion Studies: Evaluate the physical movements involves in using the product.
- Protocol analysis: Evaluate a design, user‟s expertise level, and understand users' concept of products.
- Prototype evaluation: To verify a design outcome under real conditions.
- Task-Analysis: Define and evaluate operational procedures of a human/product/system.
Methods for Improving Product Design
The following two methods used to the design process.
- Design for Manufacture
- Concurrent Engineering
What is Design for Manufacture (DFM)?
Design for Manufacture (DFM) is a method that ensures product can be produced at a low cost through simplification, standardization and modularization.
Simplification involves a reduction in the number of components in the design in order to reduce cost and increase reliability.
Standardization involves using components that can be used in a number of products again reducing costs through economies of scale and minimizing inventory.
Modularization means using modules or blocks of components that are standard across products. Again costs are reduced and reliability increased.
What is Concurrent Engineering?
Concurrent engineering is when contributors to the design effort provide work throughout the design process as a team - thereby combining functional areas such as engineering and operations.
This approach avoids “throwing the design over the wall” without any consideration of problems that may be encountered later stages.