Understand and Learn, Explaining of Product Design Tools in Production Management!
Several tools and techniques are available for efficient design and development of products. The Concept of study – Explaining of Product Design Tools in Production Management with Techniques for Improving Product Design Process. These tools address all the stages of design and development. Some of the tools that are available for product designers to understand customer’s needs and translate them into meaningful design and manufacturing specifications, as well as some guidelines for incorporating the manufacturing requirements at the design stage. Also learn, Explaining of Product Design Tools in Production Management!
Understanding Customer Needs: The first step of product design and development process is to know what exactly the product is going to be. Organizations need various methods by which can obtain information regarding the needs of the customers.
This can be by:
- Market Research: In market research, the target group is identified and appropriate sampling is done within the target group. Using structured data collection methods, such as questionnaire surveys and interviews, information is solicited from the sample. The information is subjected to statistical and other analytical reasoning before arriving at customers’ preferences and needs.
- Competitive Analysis: Understanding what the existing offerings are now and how the gaps and problems identified could be eliminated can sometimes offer valuable inputs to the designer. One method of competitor analysis is to “reverse engineer” the product. The competitors’ product is dismantled down to individual components level and some detailed studies are conducted on them. These may sometimes reveal the probable processes utilized in their manufactures such as the choice of materials and their specifications and the relationship between these parameters and performance. Reverse engineering is one crude method of a larger issue of benchmarking. In case of benchmarking, the competitive product offerings are chosen for detailed analysis. Specific parameters are chosen for the benchmarking exercise. For example, cost, features, performance, ease of maintenance, ease of manufacture, assembly, and distribution are some of the issues on which comparative study may be possible. Once these parameters are identified, data collection and analysis will reveal the positioning of ones’ own products vis-à-vis the competitor’s offerings. Another method for competitive analysis is to develop perceptual maps. Perceptual maps are the graphical representation of various competitors offering and that of ones’ own proposed product and/or service.
- Quality Function Deployment: The goal of good product design is to bring out products that satisfy customers needs better than those of the competitions. However, the attributes of competitor satisfaction are often qualitative in nature. On the other hand, the product design process results in a bundle of quantitative attributes pertaining to the product. The challenge, therefore for a designer is to ensure that the transformation from qualitative attributes to quantitative ones is smooth and complete. Quality function deployment is a Japanese tool that helps organizations achieve this transition in a systematic and progressive manner Quality Function Deployment achieves these transition .in four stages. The first stage links customer needs to the design attributes required. In the second stage, the design attributes form the basis for actions that the firm needs to take to achieve these attributes. The actions identified at this stage are the basis for third staging arriving at the specific decisions to be implemented. In the fourth stage, the implementation decisions drive the process plan to be deployed.
- Value Engineering: Value Engineering refers to a set of activities undertaken to investigate the design of components in a designing process strictly from cost-value perspective. Typically, the design professionals brainstorm various options in conjunction with procurement, personnel, suppliers and production personnel, with respect to the value-cost dimensions of the product being designed. Usually, several questions are addressed, which include the following: (i) Can we eliminate certain features from design? (ii) Are there instances of over design of certain components increase the cost? (iii) Are there certain features of design that cost more than they are worth? (iv) Is it possible to replace the proposed method of manufacture with less costly ones? (v) Is it possible to outsource some of the components? (vi) Can we eliminate some parts and replace them with standard parts? (vii) Are there opportunities for cost-cutting by developing import substitution methods?
- Design for manufacturability: Design for manufacturability (DFM) is a structural approach to ensure that manufacturing requirements and preferences are considered fairly early in the design process without the need for extensive coordination between the two. DFM guidelines address three sets of generic requirements:
- Reducing the variety: (i) minimize the number of parts (ii) minimize subassemblies (iii) avoid separate fasteners (iv) use standard parts when possible (v) design parts for multi-use (vi) develop the modular design (vii) use repeatable and understood processes
- Reducing cost: (i) analyze failures (ii) assess value rigorously
- Considering operational convenience: (i) simplify operations (ii) eliminate adjustments (iii) avoid tools (iv) design for minimum handling (v) design for top-down assembly (vi) design for efficient and adequate testing.
- Tools for mass customization: Mass customization provides a structural set of ideas and tools to provide high levels of customization without increasing the complexity of planning and control operations.T he various tools and techniques of mass customization are (i) Employ some variety reduction techniques (ii) Promote modular design, The advantage of the modular design is that with fewer subassemblies (or modules) it will be possible to create very large number of final products. (iii) Make use of the concept of product platform. A product platform is a collection of assets that are shared by a set of products. These assets can be components, including parts, designs, fixtures, and tools or manufacturing processes for manufacturing or assembly.
Techniques for Improving Product Design Process:
Many companies who are known for their creativity and innovation in product design fail to get the new products into the markets. The problems associated with converting ideas into finished products may be because of poor manufacturing practices and poor design. Design decisions affect sales strategies, an efficiency of manufacturing, production cost, the speed of maintenance etc.
A complete restructuring of the decision-making process and the participants in the decision process is essential for improvement in the design process. Over the wall concept of design i.e., a series of walls between various functional areas must be broken down and replaced with new co-operative interaction amongst the people from various functional areas.
The improvement of the design process can be achieved through:
1. Multifunctional Design Teams:
The team approach to product design has proved to be more beneficial worldwide. The participants of the design team include persons from marketing, manufacturing, and engineering and purchase functions for the effective design process. The critical success factor between success and failure of new product launches is involvement and interaction of creates – make and market functions from the beginning of the design product.
2. Marking Design Decisions Concurrently Instead of Sequential Decisions:
Concurrent design decisions reduce time and cost of designs decision. Decisions are overlapping rather than sequential concurrent design is an approach to design that teams. Concurrent design process believes in “Cost plus” prices as contrasted by cost minus pricing in concurrent design.
3. Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA):
It is a process of designing a product so that it can be manufactured with ease and economically. It is also called design for production. Designing for production is a concept by which a designer thinks about how the product will be made as the product is being designed so that potential production problems caused by design and can be resolved early in the design process. This concept believes in simplifying design and standardizing parts and processes used.
The basic principles of DFMA are:
- Minimize the number of parts.
- Use common components and parts.
- Use standard components and tools.
- Simplify assembly.
- Use modularity to obtain variety.
- Make product specifications and tolerances reasonable.
- Ensign products to be robust.
4. Design Review:
Before finalizing a design, formal procedures for analyzing possible failures and rigorously assessing the value of every part and components should be followed. The techniques such as failure Mode Effect and Criticality Analysis FMEGAX Value Engineering (VE) and Fault Tree Analysis (FTA). FMECA is a systematic approach to analyzing the causes and effects of product failures. It anticipates failures and prevents them from occurring.
Value analysis is a design methodology developed by Lawrence Miles in the late 1940s that focuses on the function of the product, rather than on its structure or form and tries to maximize the economic value of a product or component relative to its cost. Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) emphasizes the interrelationship among failures. It lists failures and their causes in a tree format.
5. Design for Environment:
Design for Environment (DOE) involves designing products from recycled materials, using materials or components, which can be recycled. It promotes the concept of green products clean energy and environment-friendly products.
6. Quality Function Deployment (QFD):
Making design decisions concurrently rather than sequentially requires superior co-ordination amongst all the participants involved in designing, producing, procuring and marketing. QFD is a powerful tool that translates voice of the customer into design requirements and specifications of a product. It is used inter-functional teams from design, marketing, and manufacturing.
QFD process begins with studying and listening to customers to determine the characteristics of a superior product. Through marketing research, the consumer’s product needs and preferences are defined and broken down into categories called “Customer Requirements” and they are weighed based on their relative importance to the customer.
Customer requirements information forms the basis for a matrix called the house of quality. By building the house of quality matrix, the cross-functional QFD teams can use customer feedback to make a engineering, marketing, and design decisions.
The matrix helps to translate customer requirements into concrete operating or engineering goals. QFD is a communication and planning tool that promotes better/understanding of customer demands, promotes the better understanding of design interactions, involves manufacturing in the design process and provides documentation of the design process.