Production Management

Product Designing: Who is Responsible for Designing a Product

Design is the conversion of knowledge and requirement into a form, convenient and suitable for use. It is observed that inputs of the organizations resources result in properly designed products and services known as outputs satisfying the customer’s needs and their aspirations.

Product design deals with its form and function. Form implies the shape and appearance of the product while function is related to the working of the product. Designing is essential before actual transformation of raw-materials into finished product.

According to CS. Deverell “Design in its broadest sense, includes the whole development of the product through all the preliminary stages until actual manufacturing begins.

Indian patents and design act explains the design as under:

Design means the feature or shape, configuration, pattern or ornament; applied to any article by any
industrial process whether manual, mechanical or chemical, which in the finished article appeal to and are judged solely by the eye, but does not include any mode or principle of construction or anything which is a mere mechanical device and does not include any trade mark.

In other words, design means determination of shape, standards, specification, and pattern of the product. Due consideration should be given to the functional aspect of the product otherwise it will not be acceptable to the user. It is interesting to note that the first design of a product is hardly more than the engineer’s best guess as to how a product should be made.

Responsibility of Designing a product:

Generally there is a technical department in an organization to design the product. The department includes representatives from sales, purchase, engineering, production and finance department of the enterprise. These experts discuss about the market of the new product, size and shape, process
to manufacture, its functions, and its performance in comparison to other products in the market.

There are four important aspects in a product design, namely (i) functional, (ii) aesthetic, (iii) production and (iv) packing

If the product is found to be feasible, then the pictures drawings and mock-ups of the product are made.

All new products have lots of manufacturing problems in the beginning mainly due to unpractical designs. Modifications in the design so as to suit the operational capacity of the enterprise can be allowed so long the functional performance of the product is not impaired.

Design for Volume Production:
Production processes are of two types, namely intermittent and continuous. Intermittent processes can adopt themselves to changes in design of the product, but in the case of continuous processes, producing items in mass scale, the designing of the product requires more attention and planning.

The product should be so designed that it can be produced efficiently and smoothly at a low cost. For this, after preliminary design one tries to locate the places where the weaknesses and problems can arise in the production processes.

Few items are produced and the possibilities of cost reduction and elimination of shortcomings in the design, if any, are examined. It is observed that sometime some minor modification in the design leads to considerable saving in production costs. In the case of mass production process one should keep the following points in mid while designing the product:

(i) the sequences of operations should be integrated.
(ii) exactness of the size of components or parts, so that these fit properly in the assembly line.

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