8. Management

• 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,

set specifications

generate concepts

test concepts with prototype/simulation

do detailed design

build full prototype

test and evaluate prototype

plan for tooling and production

test runs

full runs

• A manager will tend to follow a set of steps when planning,


8.1 Problems

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.

8.2 References

8.1 Ullman, D.G., The Mechanical Design Process, McGraw-Hill, 1997.