PRODUCT DESIGN AND PROCESS SELECTION PRODUCT DESIGN

INTRODUCTION Designing the new products and launching them in the market is the biggest challenge facing organizations irrespective of the size, or complexity of the product. The needs and expectations of the customers are on the rise. Product design deals with conversion of ideas into reality. Every business organization has to design, develop and introduce new products as a survival and growth strategy. The purpose of any organization is to provide products or services to its customers. An organization can gain a competitive edge through designs that bring new ideas to the market quickly, can satisfy customer needs in a better way or are easier to manufacture, use and repair the existing products. Organizations are required to design the new products for the following reasons; • • • • • • To be in business on a continuous basis, believing a fact that business is a long lasting institution. To satisfy unfulfilled needs of the customers. Company’s existing product line becomes saturated and the sales are on the decline. To enter into new prospective business through related or unrelated diversification. Fierce competition in the existing product line. Profit is on the decline.

PRODUCT STRATEGIES
There are three fundamental strategies that guide the new product introduction. They are; Market Pull According to this strategy, company “should make what it can sell”. The market determines new products with little regard to existing technology and operations and processes. Customer’s needs are the only basis for new product design and introduction. The organizations through extensive marketing research and customer feed back should determine the needs for types of products and then design and manufacture them. Technology Push This approach suggests that company “Should sell the products what is can make”. Accordingly new products should be derived from production technology, with little regard for the markets. It is the marketing department’s job to create the market for the product and sell the products that are made. Company with strong manufacturing base and R & D capability can adopt this strategy.

Inter Functional Approach In this approach, new product introduction is inter functional in nature and requires co-operation among marketing, engineering and other functions. The new product is an outcome of coordinated effort between the functions. But this is difficult to achieve because of interdepartmental rifts and revelry. The team approach consisting of task force is used to integrate the diverse organizational elements.

PRODUCT POLICY OF AN ORGANISATION
Product policy is the top management (Strategic) decision. Every organization has their own product strategies or policies, which form the basis of competing in the market. They become the unique selling proposition (USP) of the company. As per the requirements of the company, it may choose product policies. The same company can opt for different policies for the different products. The various product policies are; Lowest Price - The Company will be the price leader and the company is going to offer the product at the cheapest price than its competitors. Highest Quality. Some organizations offer highest quality products irrespective of the cost. They are catering to the needs of special class of customers who value quality as the only criteria to purchase the product. Compromise between Cost & Quality. Some Organizations in order to capture the larger sections of the customers, offer products with the optimum blend of quality and cost. The products are reasonably of good quality in proportion to its price. These organizations try to give good value to the customers for his money. Safety. Some Organizations give maximum importance to safety. Safety is the criteria on which they compete in the market, ex - All home appliances, electrical gadgets etc. Thus Organizations have to choose the policies suitable for them. This policy is going to influence the design to the large extent.

PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE
The product once introduced into the market will undergo definite phases. The various phases of life cycle of a product are represented below

A-INTRODUCTION B-GROWTH C-MATURITY D- DECLINING Product life cycle Characteristics of Phases in product life cycle (PLC) The demand for a product generally tends to follow a predictable pattern called product life cycle (PLC). Products go through a series of stages beginning with start-up or introduction of product followed by rapid growth, maturity or saturation and finally the decline of demand. The time spans of stages of these products vary considerably across industries. These time spans vary from few weeks or months (for novelty and fashion goods) to years.

Introduction Stage This stage marks the introduction of the product into the market. It may be an entirely new product in the market or old product to the new market. The demand is low as customers do not know much about the product. So, the Organizations have to invest heavily in advertisement to make the product familiar to the customer. The volume of sales will be low and if proper care is not taken, the chances of product failures are high. • Growth:

Once the product is through the introduction stage, the sales starts increasing because of the acceptability of the product by the customer. The sales growth rate is high because of limited or no competition.

• Maturity (Saturation):
The sales growth reaches a point above, which it will not grow. This is due to the market share taken by the competitor’s products. Thus the sales will be maintained for some period.

Decline:

The competitors will enter the market with better product features, advanced technology and reduced prices. This is a threat to the very existence of product and sales start declining. If proper care like addition of special features, design changes is not incorporated there comes time when the products are to be taken back from the market. Characteristics of Phases of PLC are shown in table 2.1. Characteristics of Phases of PLC. Particulars 1. Product Variety 2. Volume 3. Industry Structure 4. Form of Competition Introduction High Variety Growth Maturity Decline Increasing Standardizatio n Low Volume Increasing Volume Consolidation Small Medium scale Competitions Companies Product Product Characteristi Quality cs availability Dominant Design High feature product standard commodity High volume Decreasing volume Few large companies Survivors & Price

Price & dependability

PROCESS OF PRODUCT DESIGN
The steps involved in design process are as follows 1. Idea Generation The design process begins with understanding the customers and their needs. Ideas for new products can come from a variety of sources both within and outside the firm. Internal sources include employees, research and development, market research sales force and reverse engineering. The external sources include customers, legislation, environment, technology and strategic position of the organization. Competitors are also the source of ideas for new products or services. 2. Screening Ideas The purpose of screening ideas is to eliminate those ideas that do not appear to have high potential and so avoid the costs incurred at subsequent stages. 3. Feasibility study Initial screening of the ideas is designed to stop the ideas, which are unsuitable for further considerations. Feasibility study consists of a market analysis, an economic analysis, and technical analysis. 4. Preliminary Design Design engineers take general performance specifications and translate them in to technical specifications. The process of preliminary design involves building a prototype, testing the prototype, revising the design, retesting and so on until a viable design is determined. Design incorporates both form and function. Form design refers to the physical appearance of a product, its shape, size, color, styling etc. Aesthetics aspects such as image, market appeal, special identification, finish etc. will also form a part of the form design. Production design is concerned with how the product will be made. Design, which are difficult to make result in poor quality products. During the design stage itself the manufacturing aspects should be considered. The production design or design for production include simplification, standardization and modularity. Design simplification attempts to reduce the number of parts, subassemblies and options into a product. Standardization refers to use of commonly available and interchangeable parts and subassemblies. Modular design consists of combining standardized building blocks or modules in a variety of ways to create a unique finished product. Modular design is common in electronics and automobile industry. 5. Pilot Runs and Testing In the preliminary design stage, prototypes are built and tested after several iterations, pilot run of the manufacturing process is conducted. Adjustments are made-as needed before finalizing the design. Apart from continuously testing the product for performance, market testing is also carried out to check the acceptability of the product in the defined market and customer group. This helps to know in advance, whether customer will accept and buy this product on launching in the market. Thus, test marketing is a powerful tool.

6. Final Design and Process Plans The final design consists of detailed drawings and specifications for the new product. The accompanying process plans are workable instructions for manufacture including necessary equipments and tooling, component sources job descriptions, work instructions and Programs for computer-assisted machines. 7. New Product Launch Launching the new product or service involves co-coordinating the supply chain and rolling out marketing plans. Marketing and production will work in a co-coordinated way during this phase. Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA) It is a process of designing a product so that it can be manufactured with ease and economically. It is also called design for production. Designing for production is a concept by which a designer thinks about how the product will be made as the product is being designed so that potential production problems caused by design and can be resolved early in the design process. This concept believes in simplifying design and standardizing parts and processes used. The basic principles of DFMA are : • • • • • • • Minimize the number of parts. Use common components and parts. Use standard components and tools. Simplify assembly. Use modularity to obtain variety. Make product specifications and tolerances reasonable. Design products to be robust.

Design Review Before finalizing a design, formal procedures for analyzing possible failures and rigorously assessing the value of every part and components should be followed. The techniques such as Failure Mode Effect and Criticality Analysis (FMECA), Value Engineering (VE) and Fault Tree Analysis (FTA). FMECA is a systematic approach to analyzing the causes and effects of product failures. It anticipates failures and prevents them from occurring. Value analysis is a design methodology developed by Lawrence Miles in the late 1940s that focuses on the function of the product, rather than on its structure or form and tries to maximize the economic value of a product or component relative to its cost. Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) emphasizes the interrelationship among failures. It lists failures and their causes in a tree format. Design for Environment Design for Environment (DOE) involves designing products from recycled materials, using materials or components, which can be recycled. It promotes the concept of green products clean energy and environment friendly products.

Quality Function Deployment (QFD) Making design decisions concurrently rather than sequentially requires superior co-ordination amongst all the participants involved in designing, producing, procuring and marketing. QFD is a powerful tool that translates voice of the customer into design requirements and specifications of a product. It is uses interfunctional teams from design, marketing and manufacturing. QFD process begins with studying and listening to customers to determine the characteristics of a superior product. Through marketing research, the consumers product needs and preferences are defined and broken down into categories called “Customer Requirements” and they are weighed based on their relative importance to die customer. Customer requirements information forms the basis for a matrix called house of quality. By building house of quality matrix, the cross functional QFD teams can use customer feed back to make a engineering, marketing and design decisions. The matrix helps to translate customer requirements in to concrete operating or engineering goals. QFD is a communication and planning tool that promotes better/understanding of customer demands, promotes better understanding of design interactions, involves manufacturing in the design process and provides documentation of the design process.

PROCESS SELECTION
PROCESS SELECTION refers to the strategic decision of selecting The different types of production are 1. 2. 3. 4. Job work Batch production Mass production Continuous production JOB WORK FEATURES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. As the name implies, the production facility is for taking up job work jobs are mostly of similar nature – eg sheet metal job shop does only that job the orders are for different type with varying quantities for different customers quality and delivery requirements also vary the production shop usually has all facilities needed for that category of jobs it should have skilled workmen

ADVANTAGES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. less investment high profit margin for quality work sometimes raw material is supplied by customers, thus reducing cash requirements overhead expenses less man power requirement is less

DISADVANTAGES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. High dependence on the skill of workmen need close supervision and management not possible to do regular planning and scheduling some machines will be under utilized delayed payment from customers will affect business

APPLICATION Small industries doing job works in sheet metal fabrication, stitching, electroplating etc

BATCH PRODUCTION

FEATURES 1. 2. 3. This type is most commonly used the products are manufactured in batches, machinery, textile, garments plant lay out is usually process type or group technology type.

ADVANTAGES 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Better utilization of production facilities batch size can be increased for larger orders increasing profits flexibility to produce any product mix product design changes can be incorporated easily computerized production control can be implemented

DISADVANTAGES 1. 2. 3. 4. MANNUAL control is difficult special attention required for machines high work in process inventory higher overhead expenditure

APPLICATION Most of the medium scale industries in machinery, textiles, garments, leather goods are batch production items

MASS PRODUCTION FEATURES 1. useful for large volume production of items like automobile, two wheelers, TVs, refrigerators, fasteners etc investment is very high machines and equipments are laid out as per sequence of operation. flow of material is uniform and as per plan operation skill requirement is low inspection can be built into the production line itself, eliminating human error in quality control JIT inventory management system can be implemented

2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

7.

ADVANTAGES 1. Cost of production per unit is low 2. eliminate human error in production as far as possible by automation 3. consistency in quality 4. high volume production 5. production control is easy 6. small work in progress inventory DISADVANTAGES 1. Require large investments 2. difficult and expensive to implement product design changes 3. products should have long product life cycle to get back the investment with profit APPLICATION 1. Medium and large industries in automobile, home appliances, mobile phones, electronic goods, consumer goods etc come under mass production.

CONTINUOUS PRODUCTION FEATURES 1. The production is a continuous process. Eg. Cement, refinery, fertilizers etc 2. specialized machinery and equipment are required 3. investment is high 4. the through put capacity of the line decides the production capacity of the plant 5. the production process cannot be normally stopped. 6. once stopped, it is expensive and time consuming to restart the process 7. preventive maintenance is very important 8. a breakdown of any one of the equipment may stop the entire production 9. Operation skill requirement is less. 10. product quality is built into the production process 11. high investment is required to increase the capacity even marginally ADVANTAGES 1. Cost of production per unit is low 2. production and quality control are automatic 3. manpower requirement is less DISADVANTAGES 1. Require large investments 2. production cannot be normally stopped or reduced if market off take is low 3. restart will be expensive and time consuming 4. preventive maintenance is very important 5. breakdown of one equipment lead to temporary disruption of the process 6. production volume cannot be increased

APPLICATION

Continuous production is used for products with very long product life cycle and consistency in demand, eg petroleum and petrochemicals, cement, fertilizer etc. A process is necessary to shape, form, convert and join materials and components with the help of machine and labor in order to convert the raw material into salable products.

Process selection involves 1 MAJOR TECHNOLOGICAL CHOICE 2 MINOR TECHNOLOGICAL CHOICE 3 SPECIFIC COMPONENT CHOICE 4 PROCESS FLOW CHOICE

• MAJOR TECHNOLOGICAL CHOICE
Please check the following facilities • • • Does technology exist to make the product Are there competing technologies among which we should choose Should the technology be developed in the country itself or be licensed from foreign countries

• MINOR TECHNOLOGICAL CHOICE
• Once the major technological changes are made , there may be a number of minor technological process alternatives available. The operations manager should be involved in evaluating alternatives for costs and for consistency with the desired product and capacity plans. Should the process be continuous, which is carried out for 24 hours a day in order to avoid expensive start ups and shutdowns as used by steel and chemical industries. An assembly line process on the other hand, follows the same series of steps as production but need not run for 24 hours a day, eg automobile and ready made garment industries, Job shop processes produce items in small lots, perhaps custom made for a given customer/market Suppose we make a job shop choice. The alternatives do not end here. For example, in a factory, the fabrication, joining together and finishing of two pieces of metal may represent only a small part of creating a finished product. There may be numerous ways of casting and molding and finishing

• • • •

• SPECIAL COMPONENT CHOICE
• • • What type of equipment and degree of automation should be used? Should the equipment be specific purpose or general purpose To what degree should machines be used to replace human labor in performing and automatically controlling the work.?

• PROCESS FLOW CHOICE
• • • • How should the product flow through the operating system The final process selection step determines how materials and products will move through the system Drawings, charts, route sheets and flow process charts are used to analyse process flow Analysis may lead to resequencing, combining or eliminating operations in order to reduce materials handling and storage costs.

WHILE SELECTING THE ABOVE CHOICES, PAY SPECIAL ATTENTION TO REDUCE THE PROCESS COST.

FACTORS AFFECTING PROCESS SELECTION
1 CURRENT PRODUCTION COMITMENTS If enough work has already been allocated to more efficient equipments, the current work may have to be passed to less efficient machine to complete the same in time. 2 DELIVERY DATE An early delivery date may force the use of less efficient machines and rule out the use of special tools as they will take time for design and fabrication. 3 QUANTITY TO BE PRODUCED Small quantity will not justify the high cost of preparation and efficient set-ups. Thus, quite possible they may have to be made on less efficient machines and vice-versa 4 QYALITY STANDARDS Quality standards may limit the choice of making the product on a particular machine, etc

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