Quiz 4: Product Design


New products and services enhance a company's image, invigorate employees, and help a firm to grow and prosper. The design process begins with ideas formulated into a product concept. Once a product concept passes a feasibility study, designers develop and test prototype designs based on provided performance specs. For selected prototypes, design and manufacturing specs are taken through a pilot run where the design is finalized and the planning for product launch begins. Concurrent design involves the simultaneous design of products and processes by design teams. The three types of concurrent design are form, functional, and production design. Form design refers to the physical appearance of a product. Aesthetics such as image, market appeal, and personal identification are also part of form design. Functional design is concerned with how the product performs. Three performance characteristics considered are reliability, maintainability, and usability. Finally, production design is concerned with how the product will be made.

Computer-aided design (CAD) assists in the creation, modification, and analysis of a design. Basically, CAD and its related technologies produce better designs faster. It includes related technologies such as computer-aided engineering (CAE), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), and collaborative product design (CPD).

Before finalizing a design, a company should follow formal procedures for analyzing possible failures and rigorously assessing the value of every part and component. Three such techniques are failure mode and effects analysis, fault tree analysis, and value analysis. Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) is a systematic approach to analyzing the causes and effects of product failures. Fault tree analysis (FTA) is a visual method of analyzing the interrelationship among failures. Value analysis (VA) (also known as value engineering) aims to eliminate unnecessary features and functions in product designs.