• Management differs from administration in that it sets a new course working on the policy making level: administration follows policy. There are many levels of administration and management.
• Questions that a manager will consider before putting together a design activity include,
Is the design for a small batch or mass production? smaller batches don’t require as much effort in refining the design. The design cost becomes a significant part of the final cost.
Is the design an improvement or redesign of an existing product, or is it new? Product improvement/variation can be done with minimal technical effort. The amount of technical effort increases dramatically as we go to a new design.
What design functions are anticipated? This determines the types of roles on a design team. (These are listed in approximate order of responsibility and authority). Note: All of these roles are important in a successful design. There should be people assigned to each explicitly.
1. Marketing/Product manager: makes major market/customer decisions
1. Design Engineer: Makes major technical decisions an assesses results
2. Manufacturing engineer: makes decisions about production of product
2. Designer/Engineer: does detailed design work based on major decisions
3. Quality control engineer: evaluates quality problems and opportunities
3. Materials specialist: selects materials
3. Industrial designer: makes aesthetic decisions (typically an artist)
4. Drafter: completes drawings of parts
4. Technician: builds, tests, evaluates product
4. Vendor/Supplier Representative: a product manager from another company
How does the design naturally break into manageable parts? The team can be constant members in a static structure, or can have shifting responsibility and structure. An innovative design must allow more freedom and a dynamic structure. A well defined design should be use a clear structure and set of tasks.
How much time does the design require? Based on experience and some calculations a manager can set milestones for a design team. Typical tasks might include,
test concepts with prototype/simulation
do detailed design
build full prototype
test and evaluate prototype
plan for tooling and production
• A manager will tend to follow a set of steps when planning,
Problem 8.1 Consider a typical pen,
a) a design improvement to change one unappealing feature.
b) to design a similar competitive product.
c) to design a radically new, but functionally equivalent product.
8.1 Ullman, D.G., The Mechanical Design Process, McGraw-Hill, 1997.
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