3. Describe engineering process for real-life problem solving?

Sunday, 9 February 2014

3. Describe engineering process for real-life problem solving?

Life is a result of multiple events & needs.

Engineers design various products to:

1.Satisfy the needs of the customers
2.To solve the common problems that people face.

Hence, it is essential to know the engineering process for solving real-life problems.

The needs of the customer increases as technology advances.

Furthermore different customers have different needs / requirements

Example 1: A lead user, who has significant contact with the product designer, will definitely have needs different from an end user who merely uses/consumes the product.

Example2: requirement of an end user will be: touch screen, light weight etc. But the requirement of a lead user will be: 4-point multitouch screen, DirectX9 rendering-capable GPU etc.

Thus the design process should consider both the users & transform their needs into a product satisfying these needs.

The design process is a step-by-step process having 6 major levels.

 Consider an example of a ‘mobile phone’.

Design Brief:

• First phase of design process.
• Typically a ‘statement of intent’ ie a statement which tells what the designer intend to make.
        o In this case, the statement would be, “We will design and make a mobile phone.”
• One should not start designing just after this statement since it doesn’t have enough information/idea about the product.

Product Design Specification (PDS):

• Most important stage of design process.
• What ‘exactly’ we design.
• “A document listing the problem in detail.”
        o Need true understanding of the “actual” problem.
        o Example:  whether one should design a ‘feature phone’ or a ’smart phone’.
             → If smart phone, what all features should be included ( according to requirement)
                         Ex:  whether to include features such as all-day battery life, 3G connectivity,
                         high-precision GPS etc.
• Requires good amount of’ interaction and analysis ‘with customer & marketplace.
• Constantly refer this document to ensure whether designs are appropriate.
• Also include a detailed study about the competing products & all important discoveries related to the intended product.

Concept Design :

• Developed from PDS.
• Producing an ‘outline’ of the key components & their arrangements.
        o Ex:  typically a block-diagram showing the various components in the phone & their
• Also, consider other factors like manufacture, sales, transport etc.
        o To eliminate problems that may occur at these stages.

• Try-out drawing different feasible concept designs.   
        o Evaluate them & select the most appropriate design.

•Two-step process :

Concept  Generation
        • Different ideas can be sketches or annotated( jotted down in form of points )
               o Provide easy & effective communication between other member-designers.
        • Various techniques to aid the development of a new concept.
               o Ex:  brainstorming
        • Put forward / list as many ideas discuss each of them identify a potential idea (concept) go
           forward with this concept.
Concept Evaluation
         • Evaluating the concept by viewing it various angles / perspectives.
         • Various methods of evaluation prevalent
            →  ‘Matrix evaluation’ is one such useful technique.
                       ♦  Table drawn listing the important features.
                       ♦  Products listed across the table.
                       ♦  ‘Benchmark concept’ is the ‘reference concept’.
                       ♦  Other concepts compared with benchmark concept.( by assigning points and
                       ♦  The better concept is developed further.

Detail design:

• Chosen concept design designed in detail.
• All dimensions and specifications mentioned in this stage.
        o Length, breadth, thickness, battery-size etc for the mobile phone.
• A detailed drawing of the design is made.
        o Ex:  a circuit diagram developed from block diagram mentioning the exact values of all the
           components used.( like value of resistors ,capacitors etc)
• Produce prototypes to test ideas.
        o To ensure the feasibility before applying all resources for manufacture.
        o Involve interaction with manufacturer.

Thus the transition from ‘need for a product’  ‘specification of the product’ have been attained.

Manufacturing & Testing:

• Product now ready for mass-production.
• Each manufactured product to be tested to ensure proper functioning.

Sales :

• Product to be transported ‘safely’ to selling-outlets.
• Ensure sufficient numbers of pieces are distributed to avoid shortage.

It is concluded that a product can become ‘successful’ if the above-told strategies are performed efficiently.

Thus, the engineering process can be applied to solve real-life problems.



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