After reading this essay you will learn about product design and development.
Essay on Product Design:
A product is an article obtained by the transformation of raw material. It may be a consumer product such as a radio, a television, a scooter or an industrial product like, a lathe, a shaping machine etc. Before starting the manufacturing of a product, it is essential to design it.
The designer must consider the functional requirement and the aesthetic qualities and keep his eye on the cost of manufacturing. The design department who is responsible for the design of new or modified product, consists of designers, engineers and draughtsman.
While designing a product, designer must consider the functional requirements and the aesthetic (stylish or that looks good) qualities. Designer must also, at the same time keep his eye on the cost of manufacturing the product.
Designer is, therefore, required to give due importance to these two aspects according to their use e.g. body of the car and its panel board must be good looking, while the engine and transmission system must have good performance i.e. they need more functional importance.
Manufacturing the decorative show pieces, ornaments etc. require more importance for the aesthetic qualities during their designing. In addition, designer must also be cost conscious, and estimates the cost of the product.
Designer also brought out the procedure for manufacturing the product, how much time it will take for different operations and in complete manufacturing, how much material it will require.
For new or improved product, ideas are originated by:
(i) Customers’ suggestions,
(ii) Suggestions by production department,
(iii) Other products in the market, or
(iv) From R&D department.
These ideas are given final shape in the form of product design by joint efforts of marketing, R&D, design department and production department.
Requirements of a Good Design:
A good product design must fulfill following essential requirements:
(A) Customers satisfaction, and
(B) Earn adequate profit.
(A) Customers Satisfaction:
The product should satisfy the customers by fulfilling their need and expectations.
In order to achieve this object, following points should be kept in view:
(i) It should function properly.
(ii) It should be of proper quality so as to achieve desired degree of accuracy and reliability.
(iii) Easy to use (or operate).
(iv) Easy to repair and service.
(v) Should be able to withstand rough handling.
(vi) Good aesthetic view.
(vii) Should have good space utilisation.
(viii) It should fulfill the ergonomic requirements of the user.
(B) Adequate Profit:
The product when manufactured and sold should give adequate profit.
For this purpose it should fulfill the following requirements:
(i) It should be able to manufacture at reasonable price so that it can compete other products in the market.
(ii) A good design has minimum number of parts.
(iii) It should adopt latest technology so that manufacturing requires minimum cost per unit of production.
Factors Influencing the Design:
The various factors effecting the design of a product are:
(i) Customer’s exact requirements.
(ii) Materials affect on the design work, method and equipment.
(iii) Adopting the most economical manufacturing methods.
(iv) Low upkeep and service cost.
(v) Safety of the operator and the product.
(vi) Easiness of control, flexibility, accessibility, suitable floor space occupied etc.
(vii) Preparation of drawings, construction of prototype and analysis of experimental prototype performance.
(viii) Stabilization of design for production, simplification and standardization.
(ix) Production drawing, master tracing and working drawings.
(x) Study of reports and complaints.
Factors Considered while Designing a Product:
While designing a product, several factors are considered, some of them are:
Materials should be cheap and should be able to withstand design requirements. During production wastage should be minimised. It should be easily workable and machinable.
(ii) Manufacturing Facility:
Product design should commensurate with the facilities available in the factory as regards to equipment’s, labour and layout.
(iii) Use of Standardisation:
The parts used should be of minimum variety and should either be easily available in the market or can be manufactured easily with the machines available. It should have as many standard (and interchangeable) parts as possible.
The product should be good in appearance and should have attractive colours.
It should be able to perform its desired function with desired accuracy, reliability and strength.
It should be easy to use, operate and should cause minimum possible fatigue and provide comfort.
(vii) Operating conditions:
The product (industrial product) should operate with minimum of noise, vibration, heat and other hazards. The operators should be able to operate it with available skill.
Should be easy to maintain and service.
It should have desired tolerances, as tight tolerances will result in increased rejection and thereby adding to the cost of product.
(x) Value Engineering:
Factor related to the value engineering should be considered thoroughly to reduce the cost of production.
The simplification techniques should be adopted to avoid manufacturing complications.
At design stage, it is easy to attach cost than later on when the product is actually being manufactured. All possible ways to reduce the cost should be considered at the design stage.
Factors Affecting Product Design:
A. Technical Factors:
1. Operating Conditions. Type of workers available, conditions of noise, heat, vibrations etc. generated during manufacturing.
2. Performance. Turning speed, feed etc. of material used, accuracy, type of material required.
3. Maintenance aspects.
B. Industrial Engineering Factors:
1. Economy in production. Materials, work-study, layout, tooling etc.
2. Appearance i.e., aesthetic look.
3. Ergonomics i.e., whether the use of the product is comfortable.
C. Production Engineering Factors:
Standardization in Design:
The production department requires and prefers standardization in design and will be more happy to manufacture according to this.
Therefore, the design engineer should take the lead in standardizing the product since it requires:
(i) Low investment in plant, equipment and materials resulting in price reduction.
(ii) Interchangeability of parts.
(iii) Possibility of development and good control.
(iv) If diversity is preferred, it may meet the desired things and should have good purchasing capacity and satisfactory sales force to meet price competition.
Design engineer can achieve standardisation by adopting following steps:
1. The continuous development to technical research is to be taken to the fullest advantage and the management should consider the desire of consumers for quality and style within a given price range.
2. The manufacture of the product should be within the capacity of the manufacturer both from financial and operating conditions.
3. The methods engineer suggests modification in the operation for the simplification of the product. The purchasing department may find it difficult to get certain specified material and all these conflicts should come to a final decision and co-ordinated.
4. By closely working with the sales department, the reaction of the customer and interest of the salesman should be watched.
5. The purchasing department should be asked to give suggestions regarding economies in procuring the materials.
6. The manufacturing difficulties in highly technical processes can be got removed and improved by the research department.
7. The competitors product should be thoroughly analysed to know their secrets.
Activities in Product Design and Development:
1. Product Idea Generation
2. Idea Screening
3. Concept Development and Testing
4. Product Design
5. Business Analysis
6. Product Development
7. Process Planning and Development
8. Produce Product
9. Marketing the Product
Essay on Product Development:
Product development is the work contributing towards improvement in the existing knowledge by way of improved ideas, systems, techniques etc.
Product development is a specialized activity which may result in creation of new products or modification in the production process to produce the same product. Product development involves design, redesign and fabrication of new or modified product and then testing it to find its usefulness.
Product development is essential in order to:
1. Meet changing needs of the customers,
2. Adjust with the variation in quantity required,
3. Manufacture improved and low cost products,
4. Maintain sales position and net profit.
Following are the steps taken before marketing the product:
(i) Market research: to ascertain the need for a new product.
(ii) Research to provide base for design.
(iii) Design the product.
(iv) Development: to develop the design.
(v) Proto-type production: to prepare a product jointly by the design department and production department for experimental and test purpose.
(vi) Pre-production: to produce few items under factory conditions and these samples are tested and supplied to selected customers for inviting their comments.
After the product is designed, it needs to be developed and prototype is prepared before actual production is started. Thus development is the fabrications of new or modified product and then testing it to find its usefulness.
The research and development departments are thus concerned with all aspects of the product design and applications including its functional efficiency, quality, reliability, possible alternatives for material, wastage, control standardisation, simplification, interchangeability of parts, tolerances etc.
Product is developed keeping essential requirements of:
(a) Keeping cost as low as possible to have more profit margin
(b) Better sales market
(c) Changing needs of the customers.
To achieve these objectives, latest inventions in the field, and latest developments in the products of competitors must be considered.
(i) Collect new ideas from competitors, by inventions, from dealers and customers.
(ii) Evaluate good and feasible ideas. Selected ideas are evaluated technically as regards to the method of manufacture, labour and equipment required, performance of the product and cost of manufacture. Then the ideas are evaluated from the point of view of their acceptability by the customer.
(iii) Product is then designed.
Procedure for Product Development:
After the design of the product, product development phase is started.
Product development is done in the following steps:
(i) Develop the method for production using simplification, standardisation and specialisation techniques.
(ii) Finalise the requirements of the equipment’s needed for manufacture.
(iii) Finalise the specifications of the material required to be purchased.
(iv) Job requirement of the workers and their training.
(v) System for exercising the control is evolved.
(vi) Prototype is prepared by design department, and method for product developed and is then modified if necessary on the basis of experience.
(vii) Few products are manufactured and their performance is observed. If need arises modifications in the design of the product is done and accordingly method for production is modified.
(viii) Green signal is then given for starting the production in full swing.
Tools for Product Development:
Simplification, standardization and rationalization are the important tools for product development.
1. Simplification (Variety Reduction):
Work simplification means making improvement in methods by eliminating unnecessary parts of the job by combining and rearranging other elements of the job and making them easier and safer to perform. It refers to the elimination of unnecessary varieties, sizes etc. In simplification for scientific methods, superfluous and less important varieties and types are cut down.
Simplification reduces range of products, their types, sizes and also reduces their complexity of manufacturing procedure. Thus, it is helpful in eliminating wastage by avoiding unnecessary variety and unimportant difference in products of daily use.
Due to lack of simplication, some people do not like to purchase foreign products such as automobiles, watches and such other products because their spare parts are not easily available and at the same time it is difficult to repair them when necessity arises.
Simplification is difficult in highly styled items because their styles are changing very rapidly specially for the items used by ladies and children. The consumers, competitors and manufacturers are very much interested to use these changing styles. Therefore, it becomes a difficult problem to use simplification in these items.
Simplification that reduces the number of varieties of finished products is important to both industry and public. The simplification of product involves the reduction of the number and variety of products.
Producers often find that 70% to 90% of their sales are concentrated to only 10 to 20% of their products. By eliminating less profitable items and concentrating on the manufacture of the better-selling items, management can reduce costs and increase sales largely.
By simplification, reduction is effected in the number of sizes, shapes, style and types of articles. As for example, in an industry before simplification 683 sizes of folding paper boxes were used but when study was made, if found that 52% of annual consumption was concentrated in 9 sizes, 14 sizes would meet the other needs, with the result sizes were cut down from 683 to 23.
Simplification of a product is not free of possible disadvantages also. For example, suppose manufacturer sells nuts, bolts and washers. Now even washers produced by him are costly, he has to supply washers with bolts and nuts.
If he cuts the manufacture of washers then he may not get sufficient order for only bolts and nuts, because customers will prefer to purchase from someone who can offer a complete supply. This will be more easy and less expensive for the customers to order all the three items from one supplier.
Simplification is advantageous to all classes of persons i.e., manufacturers, distributors and consumers.
These advantages are summarised below:
(a) To manufacturers:
By simplification manufacturer can get the following advantages:
(i) Use of special purpose machines and tools is possible.
(ii) Less capital is blocked in raw materials, finished products, jigs, dies and other special tools.
(iii) Less supervision is required.
(iv) Less chances of errors.
(v) Manufacturing cost decreases because by producing less variety of products, large number of products of same variety are produced.
(vi) Correct estimation is possible.
(vii) Less chances of obsolescence.
(viii) Training to workers becomes easy, quick and economical.
(ix) Increased production rate.
(x) Lower unit cost.
(xi) Investment of capital will be less.
(xii) Standardisation is possible, which raises quality of products and products of uniform acceptable quality will be available in the market.
(xiii) It reduces wastage of labour and materials.
(xiv) Reduction of error in shipment.
(xv) Prompt delivery.
(xvi) Continuous employment instead of temporary when this or that size or model was needed.
(b) To Distributors:
Simplification provides the following advantages to distributors:
(i) Selling is easy because only few items are to be sold.
(ii) Less capital is blocked in keeping the variety of products in hand.
(iii) Less depreciation and obsolescence of products in stock.
(iv) Selling expenses are reduced because of less handling.
(v) Accounting and other clerical work reduced.
(vi) Less storage space is required.
(vii) Elimination of slow moving stock.
(c) To Consumers:
By simplification advantages to consumers are:
(i) Better quality of products is available.
(ii) Better services in delivery and repairs.
(iii) Less cost.
(iv) Confidence and easiness in purchase.
It is the setting up of standards for quantity, quality, raw-material, sizes, performance etc. of any product. It is done after considering various scientific procedures and is helpful for checking the quality performance and value of product.
Simplification is the selection of those items which are of greatest demand and elimination of other items, while standardisation is to set the standards for that particular simplified item. The standard fixed should give best method, specification and the type considering all the factors such as availability of equipment and material etc.
It is the best method for achieving interchangeability, manufacture of mass-production and it is a greatest factor in the growth of industry of present day. It has a large scope in the manufacturing of parts and components. Unwise standards cannot be forced on unwilling public or industry. It involves a great deal of technical knowledge and experience.
Use of standard parts and interchangeability of components is very economic and advantageous. A cost reduction sense in design work is a necessity and all efforts must be to reduce the cost of production. Designer should use standard materials, employ standard limits and avoid unnecessary tolerance. He should have good knowledge of standardization.
Standardization can be done in nomenclature, dimension, quality, tools and equipment, process, performance, safety etc. It promotes the manufacture of more regular reliable and improved product at a lower cost. A designer should consider the product from simplification point of view. Simplification is a means of limiting unnecessary variety of products which cannot be justified on economic grounds.
All the tools, equipment, working conditions, materials, quantity etc. should be standardised. Standard of product can only be achieved by standardising tools, equipment, materials etc. A machine should be in good condition to keep the quality of product to be same as was in the beginning.
Thus, it is necessary to maintain the machine in good working condition and similarly, if the tools are blunt, the quality of products will not be same and will be impossible to maintain their standard. Therefore, it is most essential to keep the tools and machines both in good condition.
The meaning of standardisation can easily be understood by the following example:
If some manufacturers make 8 threads per inch length and some others 7 to 9 threads per inch length on a stud of 1 inch diameter rod, then it will be very difficult to use them on various machines. To avoid this difficulty, it has been decided to use 8 threads per inch length for one inch diameter by all manufacturers of studs, bolts etc.
Thus, if we say a stud on one inch diameter then everyone understands that it will have 8 threads per inch length without explaining. In this way all the products of daily use are standardised which result in the following advantages.
(i) Interchangeability of products is possible.
(ii) Better quality of products.
(iii) Use of automatic machines is easily and economically possible.
(iv) It is possible to provide guarantee period for the performance of product.
(v) It saves large amount of production time and labour, and thus cost of products is reduced.
(vi) It helps in reduction of stock, investment and storage space.
(vii) It helps in reduction of maintenance spares and thereby reduces maintenance cost.
(viii) It provides improved managerial control and better manufacturing efficiency.
(ix) Better customer’s satisfaction is possible.
(i) Sometimes it results in marginal increase in costs.
(ii) Extra cost of changing over to standardisation, sometimes discourage the decision for standardisation.
(iii) Restriction to freedom of choice.
Standardisation as a Management Tool:
Standardisation should not be restricted to machine, processes or materials but should be extended to administrative procedures, layout of forms etc. which help to improve the efficiency of management functions.
Standardisation programme should be based on the following:
(i) Standardisation in administration,
(ii) Standardisation in production planning,
(iii) Standardisation of materials, and
(iv) Design standardisation etc.
Distinction between Simplification and Standardisation:
Simplication is concerned with the manufacturing procedures while standardisation is concerned mainly with a particular product or process. Thus simplification is a selective procedure and its purpose is to select the items, sizes and varieties of products, which are most useful and important and to concentrate the complete production on those selected products.
Standardisation is a technical procedure and its purpose is to use and implement best design, size, method, quality or procedure for the performance of the desired work.
For example, if a manufacturer of T.V. reduces its 8 models to 3 models. This is known as simplification of line of products.
When, if the manufacturer decides to use a fix number of components and always use same set procedure and circuit; it is known as standardisation of products.
It will be more clear by another example:
We all know that bolts are generally available in size of 1/4″, 3/8″, 1/2″, 5/8″, 7/8″ and 1″, not of the size 3/16″, 7/15″, 9/16″, 11/16″, 18/16″, 15/19″, this is the function of simplification, and at the same time it has been standardised that bolts of and 1″/4, 3″/8, 1″/2, 5″/8, 7″/8 and 1″ are manufactured at 16, 14, 12, 11, 10 and 8 threads per inch length respectively.
The process of rationalisation was first started in Germany to rebuild the industries after First World War. Then this rationalisation was used in Japan and England.
The utility of rationalisation was felt in other countries also and in 1927 a Jeneva World Economic Conference described it as a method or technique for securing minimum waste of effort and material. It includes scientific organisation of labour, simplification of process, improvements in the transport system and standardisation of materials and products.
Rationalisation is the removal of all the duplication and overlaps without loss of economy. It eliminates wastage and inefficiency by reforming on scientific basis to all men, material, machine, management and money to ensure maximum output with minimum cost and efforts.
Characteristics of Rationalisation:
Rationalisation can be done in several fields as summarised below:
Technical rationalisation means adopting the following processes:
It is the process for fixing certain standards of the quality, processes, material etc. to limit the variety so as to eliminate wastage of labour, money and material and to reduce cost of product.
To rationalise any industry, simplification is also necessary in which only selected type of products are manufactured so that more attention can be paid.
It is based on the more use of automatic machines. It is used to speed up the work and thus by increasing turnover, cost of production is reduced to a large extent.
It means taking the best use of existing equipment and using the machines at higher speeds and try to increase the production with the available equipment and resources.
To rationalise an industry, organisation should be scientifically arranged, because scientific organisation is helpful for running the industries efficiently and to keep cooperation among different departments so as to maintain peaceful working at all levels.
In this aspect rationalisation is done to see that industries are neither overcapitalised nor under-capitalised. More emphasis should be given on modern equipment through self-financing.
In rationalisation social and human aspects are also taken into consideration. For this, a systematic approach is made to remove causes of labour discontent, to provide adequate incentives, reward to good workers, frame scheme of production and remuneration etc.
Advantages of Rationalisation:
From the above discussions, it is clear that rationalisation is very useful.
Some of its important advantages are given below:
(i) Better production.
(ii) It improves the quantity and quality of product by utilising men, material and machines in the best way.
(iii) Cost of products can be reduced greatly by using specialised machines and equipment’s.
(iv) Workers get good wages and incentives.
(v) Prosperity of Community. It helps to improve the prosperity of entire community by adopting rationalisation. Since manufacturers get more profit, workers get more wages, consumers get products at lower prices.
(vi) It helps to bring economic stability in economic field by making improvements all-round the industry and trade.
(vii) It promotes industrial cooperation due to scientific knowledge, improved techniques and different industries come closer to make their industries more rationalised.
As it has various advantages, it also has some limitations and dangers, some of them are:
(a) Danger to Small and Weak Industries:
When some Industries are rationalised, their quality of products will be better and rates will also be cheaper. While other small and weak industries which could not be rationalised will be producing poor quality products at higher costs. Thus such industries could not stand in the market for a long time and will be wound up.
(b) Danger of Monopoly:
As rationalised industries produce products at cheaper rates, they will charge higher profits and sell their products at slightly lower rates than unrationalised industries. Thus, rationalisation creates monopoly and others will have to suffer.
(c) Difficulty of Finance:
Rationalisation requires big expenditure for modernisation and overall re-organisation of industry. Large capital is therefore needed for this purpose.
(d) Opposition by Workers:
Generally, workers oppose it due to the following reasons:
(i) It creates unemployment.
(ii) Increase in fatigue and mental strain due to speeding up of work.
(e) Danger of Over-Production:
Rationalisation of industries may lead to an increase in production. Therefore, production may increase beyond the consumption capacity of people, which may cause losses.