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Viability of the Proposed Solution

To develop or not to develop the product that is the question. Often, the decision not to
develop a product is financial based on a thorough analysis, it is determined that the
anticipated income from the product cannot support the anticipated cost of development.
However, if a financial analysis indicates that the sales of a new product (when compared to
the cost of development) could potentially produce an acceptable profit, you must ask,
Should the product be developed? But this is not always an easy question to answer.
A designer or engineer has an ethical responsibility to his client, his profession, and to
society. In light of these responsibilities, the designer should consider all potential
consequences, good and bad, resulting from development of a product and then compare the
benefits of product development to potential negative impacts. Do the benefits outweigh the
risks? Is continuing with product development the right thing to do?
The design, manufacture, packaging, distribution, and use of any new product will result in
consequences, both positive and negative. These consequences are far reaching and wide
ranging. For example, will the manufacture and distribution of the product consume
nonrenewable natural resources or produce pollution? How will the development of the
product affect the workers that will help produce, transport, and sell the product? What affect
(intended or not) will the use of the product have on the consumer, the environment, and
society? On the other hand, development of the product may create jobs, use abandoned
facilities or discarded waste materials, and improve the lives of people.
The considerations mentioned above assume that the product is well designed and functions
as intended. However, another important ethical responsibility of the designer is to ensure
that the product is well designed and does not suffer unintended failure. What will happen if
your product does not work as intended or suffers a catastrophic failure? Will the failure
cause harm? It is important that the designer has the knowledge and expertise, or seeks out
people with that knowledge and expertise, to properly design the product in order to minimize
the risks of failure.
In this activity you will consider the consequences of your product design, compare the
positive and negative impacts, and assess the ethical implication of continuing to develop
your product.
Engineering notebook
Internet access
Access to trade journals, magazines, newspaper, and other printed material
Product Lifecycle handout (from Lesson 1.1)
Product working drawings

Work together as a team to complete the following.

2013 Project Lead The Way, Inc.

Engineering Design and Development Component 2 Viability of the Proposed Solution Page 1
1. Revisit the Project Proposal that you created and your design specifications. Consider
the technical expertise and knowledge that is required to properly design your product.
Has your team acquired the math, science, and engineering knowledge necessary to
properly design your product? Have you contacted experts in order to gain the
necessary knowledge or obtain assistance with the parts of the design that your team
is not well equipped to perform? It is impossible to include an exhaustive list of math,
science, and engineering principles that you should incorporate into the design of your
product because each product design will require consideration of different concepts.
The following list is intended only to get you thinking about concepts that you may
need to investigate further.
Loads. How will loads be transferred from the environment to your product, and
how will loads be transferred within your product? Will the loads be static
(unchanging) or dynamic (changing)? How can you calculate the loads? Will the
components of your product be able to withstand the magnitude of these loads?
Loads will be transferred to the product through contact with both the wearer of
the helmet, and the helmet itself. The product will be one piece, so there are no
other parts for the load to pass through. The loads will be both static and
dynamic, with the static load coming from the weight of the helmet and the
vibrations from riding the motorcycle. The dynamic load on the other hand
would be much greater as it would most likely be caused by an impact on the
helmet. The product must be able to withstand these forces in order to keep the
helmet safe. We could calculate the forces by putting a force meter in the
helmet to measure impact fore and force of vibration.
Materials. Will your choice of materials withstand the test of time? Will the
density/weight of the materials adversely affect your design? Will mechanical
properties of your materials provide sufficient strength, stiffness, and abrasion
resistance? Will the material be able to withstand repetitive loading without
premature failure? Will the material operate well within the range of
temperatures to which the product will be subjected? How will the material react
to sunlight, temperature variations, chemicals to which it will be exposed?
Plastic does stand the test of time, as is seen in the fact that pieces are still
floating around in the ocean after many years. Plastic is very light, so it is ideal
to use in the design, because of the fact that a heavy material could through off
the balance of the helmet, or the rider. The plastic is strong enough, as it will
not have to go through a large force, nor will it go through any abrasive
conditions. We also dont want the plastic to be stiff, as that will be
uncomfortable for the wearer. The material will also be able to withstand the
loads repeatedly, as the plastic sheets will not be under a very large load. Also,
the material will not be subjected to extreme temperatures, chemicals, or a lot
of sunlight, so those properties are not much of a concern.

Mechanical Engineering. Does your design require an input of heat or

mechanical power? Are there moving parts in your design? What simple
machines are employed in the design? Will all the components of your product
interact effectively? Will the loads be efficiently transferred from part to part? Do
all the parts move at an ideal speed?

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There is no input of heat or mechanical energy needed.
Energy. Does your product require an input of energy? In what form is the
energy supplied? How is it converted by your product to produce the desired
Our product requires no energy input.
Chemical/Bio Engineering. Does your design involve conversion of raw
materials to another form during manufacture or use? What chemical or
biological transformations are involved in the process(es)?
There is no conversion to a raw material needed.
Electrical Engineering. Will your design involve electricity, electronics, control
systems, telecommunications, or computers? How will these systems be
integrated into your design?
No electronics needed
2. Have you researched laws, codes, and regulations that could potentially impact your
design? Do you feel that your team has met its ethical responsibility for technical
expertise related to the design of your product? If not, perform additional research at
this time. Revise your product design as necessary.
We did research on existing laws, and as far as we found, there are no laws at the
moment that prohibit the installation of an insert into the inside of a helmet. As long as
the insert does not compromise the integrity of the helmet, we will not be ethically
responsible for whatever happens.
3. Create a graphic to document your products anticipated lifecycle. Research the efforts
necessary to take your product from raw materials to the end of its lifecycle (and
potentially be reused or recycled into new products). Detail each phase of the cycle
with information specific to your product. For example, in the Raw Material Extraction
phase, indicate the raw materials that must be obtained in order to create your
product. In the Material Processing phase, detail the processes necessary to convert
the raw materials to usable substances in your product. In the Assembly and
Packaging phase, detail the anticipated method of assembly (one-off, hand
assembled, human assembly line in a large manufacturing facility, fully automated
robotic assembly, etc.) and the anticipated type of packaging that will be used.
See diagram below
4. Consider the consequences of the development of your product at each phase in its
lifecycle to people (designers, users, nonusers, employees of the manufacturers,
distributors, sellers, etc.), the environment (including the use of nonrenewable natural
resources; the potential release of toxins, waste, or pollution; the creation of visually
unappealing facilities or noise pollution; the effect on animal and plant species, etc.),
and society.
The product will have any negative consequences to people, anywhere in its
development. However, it will negatively impact the environment as plastic is made
from petroleum, which is a non-renewable resource. Also, the melting of the plastic
together will release some toxins that are not exactly the best for the environment. We
would need some sort of factory to manufacture the product, so that would probably
contribute some noise pollution and the construction of an unappealing building.

2013 Project Lead The Way, Inc.

Engineering Design and Development Component 2 Viability of the Proposed Solution Page 3
2013 Project Lead The Way, Inc.
Engineering Design and Development Component 2 Viability of the Proposed Solution Page 4