Product specification is a definition of product design. The design remains a concept in the mind of the designer until he prepares a verbal or written description in the form of drawing, sample, etc. The object of product specification is to tell the production people what is to be produced and to indicate to the customer what he is buying.
During the handicrafts stage, the designer himself was the maker of the product and seller to the customer. Therefore, need for product specification was not felt much. In modern factory system, product specification is necessary to communicate the design to the worker manufacturing the product and to the customer.
Components of Product Specification
The development of a product specification involves the following steps:
(i) Conceiving or visualizing the product.
(ii) Deciding the characteristics of the product keeping in view the customer requirements and end use.
(iii) Translating the characteristics into engineering design.
(iv) Expressing the design in the form of composition, size, dimensions, weight, etc., of the product.
(v) Communicating the specifications through drawings, photo, etc.
Product specification determines the size, capacity, weight, shape and other dimensions of a product. Its main purpose is to facilitate production process. Information for product specification has to be obtained through efficient marketing research.
A good product specification should provide the following information abort the product
(a) The unit of measure, e.g., grams, lbs., milliliters, etc.
(b) Physical properties, e.g., strength, fragile.
(c) Chemical composition or formula.
(d) Method of production.
(e) Visual appearance, e.g.color, etc.
(f) Method of testing.
(g) Product quality features.
(h) Criteria for acceptance and rejection
(i) Method of use
In addition to specification, drawings are also prepared. Drawings are pictorial representations of the parts to be manufactured. They must show enough detail and different views to enable the production staff to reproduce the part exactly. A parts list should also be prepared to indicate different components of the product.