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 Emerging Technologies in Design Engineering

Archive for March, 2011

How Good is My Design? Checklist for Successful Designs

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Design Engineering Community is faced with many challenges in terms of Reliability, Performance, Cost and Time. Simple Questions, when asked and answered, help Designs get better. Here are a few simple steps that help Design Engineers achieve Superior results and products. As a part of the Design Process if the Engineering Team incorporates the checklist it saves the Organization, Time and Money, resulting in enhanced Profit and Success.

What is my Design’s Real Factor of Safety?

More often than not, actual answers are not known. A simple Simulation validates the Design and gives the Designer a Factor of Safety Plot that gives true insight. This helps identify critical regions where inspection dimensions can be used to protect component boundaries.

Factor of Safety Plot with SolidWorks Simulation

Illustration 1: Factor of Safety Plot for Geneva Mechanism using SolidWorks Simulation

When will My Product Fail?

Warranty period for products can be provided without risk of cost escalation if product life can be estimated in advance. Fatigue life prediction helps estimate Minimum Life Guarantee for developing fail-safe design and peace of mind. As a part of the Design Process if life is computed, it helps in the designer specifying right choice of material after evaluating different material options and their impending costs. This results in a win-win situation in terms of product cost and warranty resulting in greater customer satisfaction. Assured performance during warranty period also provides for considerable savings in terms of replacement costs, time and travel to customer place and above all trust.

Fatigue Life Calculation using SolidWorks Simulation

Illustration 2: Life Estimation using SolidWorks Fatigue Solver

How Sustainable is my Design?

Raw-material selection, methods of manufacture and assembly, material re-cycling, consumption of energy, water and air are influenced by Green Design Principles. Sustainable Designs are important for market acceptability, profitability and above all, eco-friendly development of products for long term growth and success. Air Acidification, Water Eutrophication, Energy Consumption and Carbon Footprint assessments can be done at the Design Stage.

Finding Alternate Materials for Sustainable Design

Illustration 3: Alternative Material Evaluation for Sustainable Design

Is my Design Cost-effective?

Material optimization, Weight Optimization and Functional optimization help reduce cost of the product. Finite Element Analysis helps in reducing weight, number of parts and selection of alternate materials for lower cost. This has a cascading effect in terms of power required, in addition to handling and manufacturing costs resulting in substantial savings in overall product cost.

Product Development CycleIllustration 4: Product Development Cycle for Optimization

Would I face Assembly Build & Quality Issues?

Allocation of tolerances at the part level, based on Process Capability and Functional requirements eliminates re-work and performance issues. Effect of part tolerances on assembly build quality is required to be studied using Tolerance Stack Up Analysis. This approach leads to maximizing tolerance for assembly build requirements and performance criteria while lowering cost of power quality. Estimation of rejections in terms of PPM provides for a power process of evaluating alternatives at the design stage before Job 1. For companies looking ahead to becoming innovators and technological leaders this is a crucial and mandatory step in product development process.

Statistical PPM Estimation for Rejection of ComponentsIllustration 5: Predicting Assembly Build and PPM using SigmundWorks

Checklist for Perfecting Designs

A more generalized approach would be to incorporate the following checklist to arrive at Superior designs to ensure higher customer satisfaction, enhanced profitability and greater success.

  • Design for Safety
  • Design for Manufacture
  • Design for Life
  • Design for Assembly
  • Design for Sustainability
  • Design for Quality
  • Design for Service
  • Design for Performance
  • Design for Cost
  • Design for Satisfaction


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