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The FSD should have the following information:

1. Project Description and background: A description of the project, and what is

the expected level of completion to be accomplished. A high-level system
block diagram should be included to aid in presenting the overall concept.
2. Customer Needs: The customer needs and requirements should be listed
including their relative importance and priority as completed in the class
3. Product Specifications: The customer needs are then mapped into project
metrics, and preliminary values assigned. Use a Needs/Metrics table to show
the linkage of customer needs and measurable metrics. You should include
preliminary target values for each specification. A complete FSD should also
include a description of each metric and the reason that the team has
chosen this measure for the project.
4. Linking of the Project Requirements and Product Specifications: Each
critical customer need must have an associated product metric to insure that
these critical program and customer requirements are being met. This can
easily be shown on the Needs/Metrics chart illustrated in class.
5. Summary: As with any written document, you need to include a summary
section which ties all the other sections together and reviews the significant

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Concept Generation.

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Concept Generation
The idea of doing a structured
process to generate design concepts
is one of the most difficult concepts to
What makes it so hard?
Have you ever done a task only to find
out later that there was an easier way?
Why did you choose the harder
What are some example of break-
through, out of the box thinking?
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Concept Development Phase
Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3 Phase 4 Phase 5
Concept System-Level Detail Testing and Production
Development Design Design Refinement Ramp-up

Mission Development
Statement Plan

Identify Establish Generate Select a

Target Product Test Set Plan
Customer Product
Specs Concepts Product Final Downstream
Needs Concept
Concept Specs Development

Perform Economic Analysis

Benchmark Competitive Products
Build and Test Models and Prototypes

Concept Development
Exhibit 2 Chapter 3 Ulrich & Eppinger

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Concept Generation
Why emphasize early concept

Thorough exploration of alternatives early in the

development process greatly reduces the
likelihood that the team will stumble upon a
superior concept late in the development process
or that a competitor will introduce a product with
dramatically better performance than the
product under development.
Ulrich and Eppinger
Concept generation answers the question of how the
product will satisfy the customer needs as mapped into
the functional specifications. 5

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Iterative Process of Concept Generation


Concept generation
Concept screening
Concept scoring
Concept testing

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Advantages of Early Concept Generation
Reduce the likelihood of costly
problems later in the development
Early concept generation is a very
affordable way of looking at a lot of
Develops confidence in the team that you
are not going to be surprised later on.

A product solution without an alternative is not

an acceptable solution--
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What are some of the problems you
may encounter w/o a structured
approach to concept generation?

Wont consider many alternatives.

Influenced by the most dominant
person on the team.
Dont consider product concepts from
other companies or unrelated products.
Team doesnt get a buy in to the final
May miss entire an entire category of

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Home Depot Theorem

Time spent in Project Planning =

Complexity of Distance to the
the problem X nearest
Home Depot store
Home Depot Corollary
Complexity of
Time spent on the
actual Project
= the problem

Distance to the
nearest Home Depot
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Concept Generation is a 5 step process
1. Clarify the problem. Break it down into
sub-problems, and prioritize.
2. Search externally for existing solutions =
3. Search internally, using individual and
group resources.
4. Explore systematically, using concept
5. Reflect and evaluate.
This is not necessarily a linear process, it
is usually iterative.

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Step 1 Clarify the problem
Start with the Customer needs analysis
and Functional Specs as inputs
limit the scope of the problem. Dont
try to boil the ocean.
Prioritize the critical subsystems where
you can differentiate your design. You
will only have a few areas where you
will need to apply the formal process.
Be sure to list the critical assumptions
you are making about the problem.

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Decomposition of design concepts

The goal of problem decomposition is to help

identify the few critical functions for your design.

Every Product Function has a series of inputs and

outputs that describe the behavior of the

inputs outputs


Take a systems approach to design

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Hand held Nailer
The design team decomposed the problem into
several subproblems: Energy Source, Material
(nails), Initiate action

Store or Convert
Energy Accept Energy to
External Translational
energy energy

Store Isolate
Nails Nail
Energy to nail Nail

Initiation Sense Trigger

action initiation tool

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In-class exercise #1

Develop a decomposition function

diagram for one of the design
subproblems for your project.
What would be some of the inputs and

inputs outputs


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Step 2 Search Externally

Be a pirate! Take the best ideas that

others have developed and build on
You dont have to do everything
perfectly. It only takes a couple of areas
of differentiation to have a success in
the market.
What technology allowed Honda to become
a leader in transportation vehicles.
Reliable engines.
HP inkjet printers
An ink that could be boiled to produce droplets.
Colored inks.

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Search Externally

Interview lead users.

Consult industry experts.
Search Patents.
Search published literature.
Benchmark related products.

For you Concept Generation and Selection

document, I want you to show evidence of
at least two areas where you have
researched some external inputs for
concept generations.
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Step 3 Search internally

Be careful to avoid assuming you know

more than you do about a subject.
Be careful to not over-simplify a

For every complex problem there is a

simple, easy-to-understand, wrong

Complex problems usually have

complex solutions

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Search internally

Use your personal and team knowledge

and creativity to generate solution
Some guidelines for generating concepts:
Suspend judgment. Dont be quick to jump to
Generate a lot of ideas. Dont spend time
evaluating ideas, just capture them.
Welcome out of the box ideas. Dont worry
about feasibility during the initial
Use graphical and visual methods to capture
ideas. Quick drawings and sketches are
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Step 4 Explore Systematically

At this point the team should have a

collection of concept fragments
solutions to the subproblems. The goal
of systematic exploration is to
synthesize a complete solution from the
concept fragments.
The problem is that not all fragments
will work together in a final solution
space. Your job is to come up with
practical concepts from all the pieces.

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Systematic exploration
There are two tools that can help the
team in navigating through the maze of
concept fragments:
1. The concept classification tree, and,
2. The concept combination table.

Concept classification tree helps to

divide the solutions into independent
And the concept combination table
helps in the selection of possible

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Systematic exploration
concept classification tree
Fuel-air system
Explosive System
Oil pressure system
Hydraulic Wall outlet

Store or Batteries
Accept Electrical
Fuel Cell

External air system

Internal air system

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Concept classification tree

What are we trying to accomplish with

the tree?
Prune less promising branches quickly.
Identify independent approaches to the
Find where gaps may exist in the concept
Refine the thought process for a particular

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Concept combination table

This is a tool to link fragments into

complete solutions.
The first step is to identify the general
functional diagram for the anticipated

Energy to Accumulate Apply
translational Translational Translational
energy energy energy to nail

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Concept combination tables

Step 2 is to put all concept fragments

into a column of the combination table.
This helps to identify if concept
fragments are missing or redundant.

Step 3 is to link concept fragments into

complete solutions. This also shows
where more evaluation or exploration is

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Concept combination tables
Step 1- add fragments to the table

Convert Electrical translational
energy to Accumulate
Energy energy to nail

Rotary motor
with Spring
Single impact

Linear Motor Multiple impact

Moving Mass

Push nail

Rail gun

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Concept combination tables
Step 2- connect fragments into solutions

Convert Electrical translational
energy to Accumulate
Energy energy to nail

Rotary motor
with Spring
Single impact

Linear Motor Multiple impact

Moving Mass

Push nail

Rail gun

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Concept combination tables

As you can see, there are a lot of

combinations available. (4 x 2 x 3)
Many obviously dont make sense and
can be quickly eliminated.
However, you often find a new idea by
looking at the possible combinations of
concept fragments.

Remember, this is an iterative process,

you may have to go back to square one
quite often.

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Step 5 Reflect and Evaluate

1. Are you confident that the solution

space has been adequately explored?
2. Do you have alternate functional
3. Can you decompose the problem in
an alternate way?
4. Have you considered external
5. Have everyones ideas been
considered and integrated into the

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Concept Generation-Summary

Develop innovative solutions that will

meet the target specifications that have
been determined by the needs of the
Find design concepts that will
differentiate our solution from the
Insure that you havent overlooked
some critical areas of the design.

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Homework assignment

Complete the FSD. Due on Tues Jan

29th. Link it to your team management
page and email a copy to me.
Email me with >5 concept alternatives
for your actual project. We will discuss
these in class on Thursday.
Information for the next lecture is in
chapter 7, Concept Selection in Ulrich
and Eppinger or in the class notes.

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The Competency Matrix Knowledge

You know You Don't Know

Awareness Conscious Competent Conscious Incompetent
Facts and data Information that needs
Past experience to be researched.
You Know
Observations You fill find people with
BOFs the required knowledge.
You will avoid making
assumptions without data

Unconscious Unconscious
Competent Incompetent
You Don't Know Skills you possess even This is the area to avoid.
though you don't know it This is where you get
Data you know that you really surprised.
don't know you will need. Don't assume that not
knowing won't hurt you.

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