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Engineering design is the process of devising a system, component, or process to meet desired needs. It is a decision making process in which the basic sciences, mathematics, and engineering sciences are applied to convert resources optimally to meet a stated objective. Among the fundamental elements of the design process are the establishment of objectives and criteria, synthesis, analysis, construction, testing and evaluation. The engineering design process is a multi-step process. These are:
A significant amount of time is spent on research, locating, applying, and transferring information. Consideration should be given to the problems and successes associated with existing solutions, costs, and marketplace needs. The source of information should be relevant, including existing solutions.
Once an engineering issue is clearly defined, solutions must be identified. These solutions can be found by using the mental process by which ideas are generated.
The purpose of a feasibility assessment is to determine whether the engineer's project can proceed into the design phase. This is based on two criteria: the project needs to be based on an idea that is achievable, and it needs to be within cost constraints.
Establishing the Design Requirements
Establishing design requirements is one of the most important elements in the design process, and this task is normally performed at the same time as the feasibility analysis. The design requirements control the design of the project throughout the engineering design process.
The preliminary design bridges the gap between the design concept and the detailed design phase. The preliminary design phase is also called embodiment design. In this task, the overall system configuration is defined, and schematics, diagrams, and layouts of the project will provide early project configuration.
The detailed design portion of the engineering design process is the task where the engineer can completely describe a product through solid modeling and drawings.
Production planning and tool design
This is nothing more than planning how to mass produce the project and which tools should be used in the manufacturing of the part. Tasks to complete in this step include selecting the material, selection of the production processes, determination of the sequence of operations, ad selection of tools, such as jigs, fixtures, and tooling.
With the completion of qualification testing and prototype testing, the engineering design process is finalized. The part must now be manufactured, and the machines must be inspected regularly to make sure that they do not break down and slow production.
Engineering and design process consists of four stages. These stages are: concept design, detailed design, engineering analysis and manufacturing. In the next chapter, we discuss each stage named above in detail.
Also, another term which must be defined is concurrent engineering. This is the work methodology based on the parallelization of tasks (i.e. performing tasks concurrently). It refers to an approach used in product development in which functions of design engineering, manufacturing engineering and other functions are integrated to reduce the elapsed time required to bring a new product to the market.
Concept design is an idea for a design. It is usually accompanied with a design mockup, which is a representation of the idea that is not fully finished or implemented the way the final product will be. Concept design is an early phase of the design process that explores far-ranging design ideas which are plausible but which often set aside immediate technical and situational constraints in order to generate new options. The design process has five major steps usually used in a problem solving works for design problems. These steps are:
- Defining the problem- It involves gathering information of the list of products or customer requirements and specially information about product functions and features among other things.
- Gather pertinent information- Relevant information for the design of the product and its functional specifications is obtained.
- Generate multiple solutions- Once the details of the design are clearly identified, the design team generates multiple alternatives to achieve the goals and the requirements of the design.
- Analyze and select a solution- The most promising solutions are selected for further analysis based on cost, safety and other criteria for selection.
- Test and implement the solution- Following this step, a prototype of the design is constructed and functional tests are performed to verify and possibly modify the design.
The objectives of concept design are:
- Gather information for engineering design.
- Communicate effectively with sketches.
- Explain how form, function and fabrication inter-relate.
- Consider human factors and ergonomics.
The detail design includes specifying the materials and their sizes. It requires a lot of skills to specify this interaction of items correctly if the design is to ``go together'' in a satisfactory manner. Many alternatives and options should be considered during this part of the engineering design processes.
In this stage of the process, the chosen concept design is detailed, with all the dimensions and specifications necessary to manufacture the product. It is usually best to reference applicable standards in the detailed documentation rather than include the entire text. Referencing reduces the size of the documentation and ensures that your document is not obsolete if the standard is modified. It may be necessary to produce prototypes to test ideas at this stage. By using standard test techniques, the product can be shown, with confidence, to meet the standards required for quality, safety, and compliance.
The objectives of this stage include:
- Read and write engineering drawings.
- Modelpart geometry with CAD tools.
- Modelassembly with CAD tools.
- Modelmechanism CAD tools.
It is simply defined as the implementation of the design defined in the concept design and detailed design stage. Manufacturing preparation includes pattern nesting, tool design, fixture design, sheet metal development and manufacturing quality control analysis.
Some of the objectives of manufacturing in student perspectives are:
- Select engineering materials.
- Select manufacturing methods.
In conclusion, there is need to look at the advantages and disadvantages of each stage as a whole i.e. what are some of the strongholds of conceptual design and so on.
In concept design, the location of information and providing deliverables are important to all phases of design, the concept stage is largely concerned with making decisions and reaching agreement. In detail design, there is room for outside reasoning as many alternatives and options are considered.
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