Product Design Challenges During COVID Environment

January 12, 2021

Widespread global disruption signifies that almost all transactions are affected by COVID-19. Tax prices make provision options longer as companies work to “increase conversions” outside of China to avoid additional costs. Now those same producers have been exposed in a much larger area: as the various regions are open and close, which will likely be more often in the next 24 months, the producers will be playing the whack-a-mole for half the shortage. Smaller companies and specialty products are the ones most at risk: they often have the same source material on which they rely. Reducing the shortage and taking uncertainty to the equation means building new relationships with suppliers or calling old ones, often with significant price increases. Smaller companies are looking at comparisons of purchases for the first time. Larger companies carefully distribute their product lines in various regions with the view that if one country is down at any time, the company can still produce customers for some of its products.

Product Design Challenges During COVID Environment

Designing a new product can create its new markets and limit the use of an existing product. The design of the new product and the additional features attract the new user. Creating a new product includes demand and an unsatisfied user. The design process incorporates important considerations in product development and ensures that it is implemented. It is necessary to introduce a new product during or during the season. Industrial designers work smarter to solve product problems and challenges at all stages of development. The idea of using a design process in a new way to add new ingenuity to a product to maximize market space and applies to a variety of fields. In this complete process, many errors are created depending on various factors such as construction materials, textures, aesthetics, the absence of new materials, etc. And these errors require special care because they can kill the product market or create a shortage of users.

A large percentage of electronic products are hand-assembled – and those human operators are usually separated by 0.6 meters intervals. Increasing the interval to one or two meters, as specified by the WHO, increases the length of the design for assembly line and the cost of making the product. Sewing factory workers with appropriate PPE will also increase costs and reduce the fingertips required to assemble smaller items, lowering the lines down. While automation can be seen as a natural solution, rapid product cycle cycles of months and weeks remain an obstacle.

The uncertainty surrounding the length of time of these conditions undermines any details of how recovery can occur in the industry. Indeed, many companies that are concerned about manufacturing may be eligible for government incentives. But there is a real possibility that this problem will lead to the extinction of other producers, as the decline in demand, production, and income, as well as debt obligations, takes their cumulative value. Most companies already have business continuity plans, but those may not be able to fully cope with the fast-moving and unexpected fluctuations such as COVID-19. Standard emergency systems ensure performance by tracking events such as natural disasters, cyber incidents, and power outages, among others. They generally do not consider widespread segregation, extended school closures, and additional travel restrictions in the event of a health emergency.

Manufacturers are facing increasing pressures on declining demand, production, and revenue as the COVID-19 epidemic grows. In addition, many face the challenges of inflation and the difficulty of managing debt. Therefore, the industry may see other manufacturers struggling to recover – and even declare decay – depending on how strong and effective government support and performance are, and how long the COVID-19 problem lasts. The industry is at high risk because most of its employees are employed on remote site jobs that cannot be done remotely. In addition, given the nature of the industry, manufacturers should create social distances in the most common workplaces (e.g., production plants, warehouses, movement of goods and inventory, etc.).

Manufacturers should expect further declining links in their shopping list, as some retailers and suppliers will face operational or financial difficulties. Brace of ongoing issues of supply to national and international procurement, especially for those officials hit hard by COVID-19. The deeper the sales, the more impact the impact will be. Manufacturers with global supply chains are likely to find that Tier 2 and especially Tier 3 suppliers are particularly affected by the disruption associated with this epidemic. While many major manufacturers have fast online visibility for high-end providers, the challenge is growing at low levels.

Product quality refers to the functionality, overall design, and structure of the product / system interface, production process, and product life cycle. This demonstrates the growing importance of the role of economic competitive design and improving the quality of life and work. The designer should be aware of the parameters before starting the actual construction process such as Design specification, Understanding Customer Needs, Specification of Marketing Needs, Design Specification and Software Requirements. This can be identified and resolved by individual research or product need. Once the objectives or clarifications have been finalized a strategy must be developed to achieve those objectives.

Society itself has strongly opposed the ever-changing nature of the product and its credit. Many cases of personal injury or death have occurred as a result of poor product design or the manufacture of furniture. The challenge for product designers is to understand the need to determine where the fault is, and what happens when any property is damaged or personal injury or loss of life occurs. Manufacturers operate strict quality checks and quality control processes at all stages of production. Therefore, it is very rare for faulty products to enter the market. However, sometimes some faulty goods are able to slip into more robust tests into the domestic market and even in our homes. This can lead to accidents for the first time when they are overcrowded.

Project Testing is a very important product parameter that will ensure its reliability and quality. The concept phase of the design process is the newest phase as many decisions are made in that phase. A design engineer who corrects design errors will need to gather relevant information by carefully investigating and retrospecting engineering. This has the advantage of avoiding mistakes in the first stage of the product.

Failure redesign will reveal a potential feature in product design, improper installation, or even repair. However, product failure is also possible due to careless man-made rather than a certain problem in its design. After compilation, all products must be tested for accuracy according to written test specifications and approved by the engineering and testing departments. The functional performance specification can be adjusted to reduce the test time after analyzing the failure statistics. The instructions of the Assembly provide the information needed to assemble the product. Assembly instructions were made during the preparation phase and were prepared by the designers. Every product must have its own user manual or technical manual containing all instructions for its installation, use and maintenance. This will help the user to avoid failure and damage when using the product or when overloading. The comprehension level of the manual should be kept simple and should be multilingual so that at any time the user can easily understand. The technical manuals provide the technical details of the product in depth depending on the complexity of the product.

The quality result of the project is said to be achieved if the project team verifies the customer requirements regarding the delivery of the product within the indicated issues. User satisfaction is the most common requirement of any product and design program. Often the products are designed based on the experience of the designers. This is not always acceptable because the ideas and expectations of the user may vary from program to program. Therefore, it is necessary for designers to understand that they need to look at many different things and user needs, expectations, concepts, behaviors, cultures, and the content environment in which products are used to ensure user acceptance. As products are only made for consumers.

Also Read: Factors To Consider In IoT Product Design

What is the Role of Retrofit Engineering in Product Development?

November 24, 2020

The product development process is a series of interdependent and routinely overlapping tasks that convert an idea into a prototype building and on to a marketable product. Companies ensure that processes are smooth and flexible for the consumers. As the original idea advances through the development process, it is refined and routinely evaluated for commercial and technical feasibility. Trade-offs between the various objectives such as price, market availability, cost, market availability, performance, quality, and reliability are made throughout the process. Now, there is great hype about designing for manufacturability. The focus is on the businesses’ internal manufacturing systems. Yet, when those accountable for design ignore the manufacturing process and technological capabilities of outside suppliers and enterprises, problems with control, time-to-market, quality, configuration, and cost are inevitable. If optimal design performance is to be achieved, manufacturers must be active from the start, when they can have a significant impact on cost, time, performance, and quality. Selected suppliers should participate in value engineering, prototype failure, feasibility studies, and stress analysis, among other product development tasks.

Retrofit Engineering in Product Development

Extensive rework, redesign, and retrofit operations are normal when a company is working in the conventional functional model. Ultimately, the absence of teamwork results in processes that are a continuing problem on the firm’s long-term competitiveness. The design and development of new products are one of the manufacturing firm’s most essential tasks as it affects profitability and even survival. The firm’s suppliers and supply management have key contributions to make during this process. A growing number of successful manufacturing firms involve supply management and suppliers upfront because of contributions they can make in the areas of cost, quality, and time to market.

The global competition and global marketplace, combined with modern computers, communication systems, and sophisticated software, have developed an environment where “time to market” and first to market have tremendous competitive advantages. Significantly, the need to decrease development time has forced enterprises to look for new methods to compete. The use of suppliers and supply professionals earlier in the product development cycle is a crucial way to decrease time to market. The benefits of an integrated approach to new product development no longer can be ignored. The lack of effective, cooperative teamwork among the functions just noted routinely has been accompanied by cost overruns, quality problems, major scheduling problems, forgone all-in-cost savings, and new products that are late to enter the marketplace. Also, early recognition of difficulties is impossible or difficult in the absence of cooperative teamwork.

As the machinery and products of the companies, organizations, and people in general ages and becomes less effective with time, the services of the product and machinery become a crucial part of the operations. Routine services not only avoid breakdowns but also enhance the product’s productivity and reliability. Almost all of the successful companies focus on their core competencies to drive profits and hence require regular servicing of their machinery to keep up with the technological advancements. Even a small breakdown in the machinery and products can halt most of the organization’s operations resulting in a significant number of problems. Retrofitting is one of the most important ways that can enhance the performance of aging machines and products.

Retrofit engineering is an incredible way to minimize the risk of machine breakage and unplanned machine shutdowns in an organization. It helps in servicing aging equipment and outmoded machinery. It may involve enhancing the reliability and maintainability of the system and subsystem. It is also useful in redesigning mechanical, electrical, and software systems, subsystems, and various other components. Retrofit engineering is helpful in replacing outdated technology with innovative and modern solutions. It increases the mean time between product failures and helps in the development of in-house diagnostic and maintenance capabilities. Various steps of a typical retrofit engineering project are:

  • Analyzing the exiting design and reviewing the documentation
  • Creating the new design or re-engineering the existing design
  • Simulating to verify functionality
  • Assembling prototype to verify design
  • Validating through testing and demonstration of the prototype
  • Generating complete technical data package to support design

Retrofitting is the process of replacing obsolete operating systems and machine components to extend the working life. It benefits the organizations as retrofitting incurs lower costs as compared to purchasing the new machine. It enhances the precision of the machine and delivers quality output. It is essential for an organization to maintain the machine at an optimum quality hence required to be retrofitted routinely to increase the economic efficiency and productive operation. Most of the developing and underdeveloped countries depend on retrofitting as they have lack of adequate foreign exchange resources for machinery import.

Retrofitting is a smart investment and is essential for competitive businesses. The up- gradation of the machinery as per the latest technological advancement is essential for the efficiency of the organization. The rate of investment in retrofitting is immense as it delivers on performance and keeps the business moving. It can be applied for reducing the machinery setup, minimizing the downtime, increasing processing speeds, minimizing minor stoppages, and enhancing production part yields.

Reducing the machinery setup is an important thing to enhance the productivity and effectiveness of the operations. It typically involves data entry steps, selecting fixtures and materials, loading new tools into the machine, etc. Automating most of the machine setup enhances productivity as compared to traditional methods of involving various steps to external and parallel processing to the machining process. The traditional are prone to risks and errors and exceeds the processing time. Automation allows easier management of multiple machines rather than focusing on multiple setups.

Manufacturers are increasingly utilizing machine tool probes by retrofitting machine tools as they are fast and robust. They are smart and can automatically set tool wear, workpiece offsets, and tool geometry. Though manufacturers are often worried about the machine tool probe cycles. They are faster and more accurate than an operator could be. They are consistent and eliminate operator measurement and data entry time variation. They eliminate errors and can work through lunches and breaks. Retrofitting engineering can also be applied to the machines or their components for reducing the downtime. This can be done through maintenance training, backup and restoring, remote diagnostics, and performing crash protection. Machine crashes due to setup errors enhance the downtime hence it is important to automate and error-proof most of the processes.

Product development through retrofit engineering is diverse and filled with complexity. The management and engineering of retrofit projects should have an experienced team of staff with optimum skills and motivation. Sometimes, the effort required to retrofit an existing product is greater than the development of new products. Also, products developed through retrofitting are also exposed to a diverse set of risks and require active management. The reason for the retrofit products is to manufacture higher-value products and to enhance plant efficiency. This generally leads to infrastructure modernization increases the production capacity beyond present capability.

An engineer should have detailed knowledge of design and operating procedures for an existing product and should select engineering standards and specifications for compatibility with an existing product. The successful management of retrofit engineering requires a clear set of objectives along with a specific implementation strategy. It requires effective planning and progress monitoring.

The initial development for retrofit products requires the identification of necessary objectives. It is followed by feasibility studies and the selection of preferred solutions for retrofitting. Next, it is recommended to refer to the existing data and design of the products as it helps in deciding the measures to be taken while working on the product. It is essential to study the existing drawings and guidelines of the product to ensure compatibility for retrofitting. It is essential to detail the process elements and flow schemes clearly as per the design requirements. Having a retrofit strategy is crucial for the enhancement of the product functions. It is necessary to have a safe approach while handling the product and should handle specific time-sensitive elements.

The most important aspect of the implementation of retrofit engineering in the advancement of existing products is the quality, availability, and motivation of the engineers working on product development. They should possess specific skills and knowledge as it can ensure the project to be completed in a timely manner. The composition of the core team for the retrofitting of the product should be adept with specific know-how of the product. It is important for the individuals at the core team to be available when needed and should possess specialist skills. The project manager should possess essential leadership skills and ensure that the staff is motivated.

Also Read: How Rapid Prototyping Helps You Design And Develop Products Quickly

Integrating Design and Manufacturing for Competitive Advantage

September 29, 2020

Globalization has enhanced the creativity and innovation of the products as customers are offered regular updates on the existing features in terms of technology and design. These updates are the essence of growing competition and companies try to support it with supreme quality and economical costs to remain competitive. It requires an organized system of procedures to connect all these changes in the product development ie. concept to delivery. Leading businesses offer amazing engineering solutions by making the regular transformation from design to manufacturing. As the world is becoming increasingly competitive, It has become essential for companies to differentiate their products. Hence companies are ensuring a balance of cost, time, performance, innovation, and quality to steal the market share.

Integrating Design and Manufacturing for Competitive Advantage

Most of the businesses have integrated the design and manufacturing processes together to enhance product development while lowering cost and improving quality. It is crucial for companies to take advantage of the available opportunities while winning customers for boosting profitability. The integration of design and manufacturing can have a tremendous impact on improving productivity and eliminating various product challenges. The decisions that a designer makes while making the design of the products can have long term implications of the company as it can affect the production costs and quality of the product. Most companies suffer a decline in profits due to their ineffective design that leads to costly scrap and reworks. If companies ignore the utilization of manufacturing while designing, it result in impacting production costs and missing on opportunities.

Creating great designs require flexible tools that can support creative thinking and design complexity for exceptional design. A supreme design tool should allow manufacturing while designing the finished product. It should be easier for the designer to design, visualize, and animate the product. This makes it easier for the manufacturers to identify the misalignment, errors, and tolerance issues and helps in preventing risks that arise due to late findings of the problems. A typical design tool should run animation, simulations, and even validate a design for ensuring product quality and performance. There are tools in the market that can do all of these processes effectively and help in delivering optimized products with innovation.

Integrating design and manufacturing in a product development process can help in improving quality by enforcing standards. It helps in preventing assembly problems and can project cost drivers that may impact fabrication. It allows high-quality production of parts by eliminating hits and trials. Increased collaboration between designers and manufacturers allows greater time and flexibility in innovation. The use of appropriate tools to 3D model the product can ensure automatic updating of the product efficiently as the design evolves.

The lack of collaboration between designing and manufacturing creates a fundamental barrier. There are numerous bottlenecks and challenges when the communication between the designing and manufacturing team is not effective. The manufacturers and designers should share their data with each other as it prevents errors in the translation process and can reduce misalignment. Globally, there is a need for manufacturing to transition to new models of innovation by including design to drive competitiveness. Though the relationship between designing and manufacturing is well established but to grow through marketing and innovation challenges, a product must assist in improving processes that accelerate time to market.

The adoption of comprehensive integration of designing with a manufacturing action plan can scale up the businesses quickly. The major elements of the integration action plan include raising awareness and building capacity among employees to work in collaboration with each other. It will not only enhance the opportunities for businesses to deliver innovation-led design but also build a knowledge base for future expeditions. Organizations can capitalize on significant value by adopting manufacturing-design integration. It ensures greater success by integrating varied knowledge across the two departments. Integration led approach develops a solid research base that can identify and target avenues for innovation and profitability.

Designing is an essential piece of the manufacturing process as it streamlines production. These designs can be for machining, moldability, casting, forging, fabrication, and assembly. An integrated approach enables companies to manufacture parts that hold down costs. It ensures the efficiency of the manufacturing and assembly of the products. Though manufacturing and designing have their own features and characteristics, they have a common goal for the organization ie, to deliver innovative products.

An integrated manufacturing and designing approach can achieve many goals for the organizations. It can increase profitability by controlling manufacturing costs. It also helps in preventing downtime and production stoppages by ensuring the precise processing of design changes. This approach enhances the agility of the organization by rectifying changes on the fly, thereby eliminating wasted or duplicated effort. It optimizes material usage by simulating the various designs for the validation.

Manufacturing can accelerate time-to-market by ensuring designs are streamlined and produced with their validation. Providing designs with a guarantee to be production-ready saves time and ensures manufacturable products. It accelerates assembly operations as the design team can simulate the dynamics and kinematics analysis well before the production. It facilitates late-cycle changes by automating manufacturing outflows while the simulation of the product. The best way to cut costs is to offer a supreme product quality with greater accuracy as it reduces the product returns and warranty costs.

Manufacturing and product design is no longer a separate entity but rather two sides of the same coin. Utilizing an integrated approach can avoid time-consuming delays, unnecessary costs, and undesirable quality issues. Achieving these objectives can enhance the competitiveness of an organization and thereby increase profitability.

Also Read: How Rapid Prototyping Helps You Design And Develop Products Quickly

How Rapid prototyping helps you Design and Develop Products quickly

February 13, 2018

Product design failure in the development stage is a huge loss for the organization in terms of man-hours and the money invested in the development process. A tangible prototype of the product makes the complex product design looks simple. It helps product designer and engineers in visualizing and analyzing the actual part of the product before the development stage. This drastically reduces the chances of product failure to a great extent.

It helps you to develop every component of the complicated product in stages and compare every part of it with the prototype prepared. Any deviation from the prototype can give you a clear indication of the design failure of the part and it helps the development team to rectify the error immediately.

Why Rapid Prototyping?

  1. Clear understanding and visualization of the Design Concepts
    It acts like a POC for the client and it’s easier to understand the design rather than struggling to visualize by looking the design on the screen or paper. It helps the designer to understand the look and feel of the design rather than having a virtual design through CAD model.
  2. Quick changes or modification
    Having a visible and tangible model provides manufacturers with the better understanding of how the product may look like. It helps them analyze the actual design and suggest correction or modifications quickly which can be incorporated to make the product design perfect before advancing to the manufacturing stage.
  3. Reduction in monetary investment and time consumption for Designing
    Rapid prototyping creates a model very similar to what an actual product can look like. This eliminates a need for preparing molds and use of other software to create a model. The existing CAD software and printing equipment are sufficient to create a rapid prototype which gives you a feel of an actual model. This not only result in saving of time and cost invested in creating the actual models but also results in overall reduction of your time to market.
  4. Product Customizations
    Rapid prototyping empowers you in developing the customized products with ease. A small modification in CAD model is sufficient to create a modification in the existing design without the need for any special tool or process.
  5. Higher Accuracy level in designing
    The material used for the prototyping has similar properties of the actual product. This makes it easier to perform the physical tests and identify the flaws and errors prior to the actual manufacturing process. This helps manufacturers to avoid the risk of halting the manufacturing process at a later stage.

Rapid Prototyping Services

Nowadays, manufacturers are more inclined towards rapid prototyping while initiating their new product development and manufacturing process. These revolutionary techniques are making things easier for product development companies, and product manufacturers in developing innovative products cost-effectively.

If you are struggling to hold the market share due to continuous innovative products being pumped by the competitors, there is a time to look into your product design and development process. Probably you require an expert who can boost your product development team to enable them to develop products at a faster pace.

At Technosoft, we carry out a systematic study of your concept and existing product line to redesign of systems and components successfully. We can partner with you to innovate, design and develop products rapidly to gain the first mover advantage.

Technosoft offers custom engineering design solutions and services to our global clients leveraging a team of 400+ experienced engineers and designers. Our diverse services span all aspects of engineering from legacy conversions, to designing and detailing, to FEA/CFD analysis. Technosoft has domain expertise in many industry verticals including automotive, off-highway vehicles, heavy machinery, consumer equipment, packaging and medical devices.