Product Engineering: 8 Steps In The Engineering Design Process

Engineers design and create different products and structures that are used in everyday life. The product engineering process involves a number of steps that one should follow to come up with ways to solve a problem. Before building anything, engineers have to gather enough information to help them understand the needs, and how best to address them. They come up with different ideas and possible solutions before they embark in creating designs. In most cases, it takes many designs before the idea can be captured effectively.

1. Product definition

The first step in the engineering design process involves defining the problem and finding out the need. This involves finding out who has the problem, what they are looking for, and why it is important to solve the problem. The company should be able to explain how the solution will benefit the end users and the company.

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2. Research

This is where the engineers try to find out what is available in the market and the experiences of customers and other players in the industry. If there is a similar product in the market, it is important to find out how well it is doing. Learning of any problems that may have been encountered is useful information that will help in avoiding the same mistakes. Learning from others’ mistakes is very important when trying to create a better or more superior product.

3. Requirements

This step involves stating everything that is required to create the product, including the materials. Analyzing the products in the market, as well as any new design requirements is important in this stage. It is important to try to ensure that the design has something new to offer to consumers, in order to ensure that there is a ready market.

4. Develop different solutions

It is important to come up with different ideas in order to create the best design. The engineering team should brainstorm and try to evaluate the different ideas to find out, which is the most effective way to go. There are usually a number of possibilities to solve any problem and it is important to generate as many leads as possible.

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5. Select and develop the best option

After going through all the solutions, the team should be able to select the one that best meets the requirements. The best one should be refined and any improvements made before it is developed. The best design should be one that is creative, practical, useful and cost-effective.

6. Create a prototype and test it

This is a sample of the product, which can be operated to allow the team to find out how well the design will work. In some cases, the prototype is made from different and cheaper materials to reduce costs, but the mechanism can be tested effectively.

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7. Redesigning

At this stage, the designers create the final product, making sure they implement any changes that the test results produced. They eliminate any problem areas to come up with the finished product. This step might require a number of procedures as the product goes through testing at each stage before the design is finally set. Improvements are made until the team is satisfied that they have brought to completion the solution required.

8. Report

The final step required to complete the project is communicating the results. The engineers come up with a final report that documents the process of creating the solution. They come up with a comprehensive report that includes supporting documents, and all this is used during the manufacturing process.

For the engineering design process to be successful, there has to be good teamwork. The different members of the team come up with ideas and all opinions have to be carefully analyzed. For the brainstorming session to be successful, listening to all ideas and respecting different opinions is essential. Judgment should be reserved until everyone in the team has contributed any ideas they may have. This will help to ensure that the idea or design created is inclusive.

The design engineers come up with the most creative design that meets all the specifications set. They make decisions that include factors like the best materials to use, and how to cut down on production costs. At the end of the day, the engineers should be able to indicate the cost effectiveness of the product they have designed. Above all, as a product goes to the manufacturing phase, the company has to be convinced that there is a market for it.

Chad Faith is a blogger who writes on different topics ranging from product engineering to manufacturing in the medical field.

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