What is the Product Design Cycle?
Let’s start the discussion with Design first. What is the design and what is the product design cycle?
Design is nothing to create something new and innovative. Design word is used in almost every sector. Either you’re a Mechanical designer or you are a software designer your main task is to create something new and innovative.
If you have drawn something with the application dimensions, Tolerances and having some standards is called a Mechanical Design.
The Physical geometry of the component and product is called dimension.
Upper and the lower dimension of the product is called tolerances. You might be hearing about several governing standardization bodies to approve your design & product at the end.
For example ASME, BIS and SAE, etc.
Now here time to understand what is product design cycle?
Since you are very much aware of the design and standards now. The process which is utilized to produce the new unique product is called a product design cycle.
The first more step is the “need of the product” in this product design cycle. Necessity is the father of invention.The need can be of any type. It can be the social & economic needs of society.
A Concept is all about how you reach your destination. It comes under the planning phase where you need to identify the resources which are needed to complete the project. It purely economical choice whether you can go with conventional methods of manufacturing or else non-conventional methods of manufacturing.
If you are going to invent the hybrid sports car then the cost might not be a big issue. Since you are selling a premium product and you have premium buyers for that. But if you have a budget constrain then you might be very much worried about the final cost of the product.
For example, if TATA MOTORS manufacture both types of car for their market need and potential. For premium customers their own Jaguar & Landrover and for the domestic market, they also have a brand like TATA Motors. So new invention totally depends upon the market, the need, and the potential buyer potential.
Here you need to define the rough sketch Concept of the product. The whole design process carried out with various modifications & implementation. Here you need to define the material, dimensions, and manufacturing process.
4. Research & Development:
It is the latest phase of the specification. Here we continuously improve the product design and material property theirs by reducing the total cost of the manufacturing. CAD/CAM/CAE technologies are widely used in the Research & the development phase to design something Unique & reliable. Several simulation processes are carried out in this phase.
Apart from design & simulation, you need to also cross-check with M5.
MAN: Do you skilled manpower to design & manufacture this product.
MACHINE: Do you need to purchase or lease a new machine to manufacture this product or rely on the old one.
MATERIAL: Are materials are available in the market?
MONEY: Every project has some sort of allocated budget to manufacture the product.
MANUFACTURING: what will the standard manufacturing process manufacture the product?
Let’s understand with a simple example:
Suppose you are a customer who needs to purchase a table. You went shopping and ask for the table.
Now the question is what will be the first question from the seller for you.
The First question should be the Use of the table. The Table can be used for the purpose of study, playing cards and for the dinning.
If you are looking to study the table then you can pick a wooden table which can withstand the weight up to 5 kg.
But you are looking for dinning then your table should be fancy and beautiful. Here you may pick a glass table. But if you are having a machine to mount somewhere then you must need to have steel made heavy foundation table. So the main concept behind this example is that you need to define the material of the table.
The Majority of the questions are suitably answered now. Now it’s time for manufacturing. Again, you have two options for manufacturing.
Mass product: Manufacturing of commercial bicycle comes under the example of Mass production. Since here volume of product is high.
Batch production: if you are producing some specific products under some initial orders then it is called batch production. For example, the manufacturing of defense products.
6. Product Testing:
This is one of the most important in the whole product design cycle process. If you’re not serious in this process, then your whole brainstorming, effort, time, and money will get wasted. You need to undergo various quality testing standard procedures to check the overall quality of the product. There are various quality measurement standards.
Total quality method: here you need to check all the products on the shop floor. The best example is the manufacturing of Piston on the shop floor.
Random sampling method: Here you need to pick one or two products from the entire lot and if you find both are correct on quality standards then you may assume that whole lot is perfect on quality standards.
Six sigma methods: Currently, most of the corporate houses working on the philosophy of six sigma principles.
7. Market Feedback
Market feedback is very much essential to check the feasibility of the whole product design cycle. If you are getting a good initial response from the customer and feedback is very promising then you may go for large scale manufacturing.
But if the initial response is not promising, although you have unique design & product quality then it is advisable to wait furthermore to get more feedback from the market. But still, you are not convinced with the initial response from the market then it time to think, modify, and improve your current design cycle.
You need to cross-check the whole product design process from the beginning. The above steps are more or less the same in the various industries during the launch of the new product.