Design Concept Realisation (Engineer)
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9 June 2021 at 2:39:30 am
We will have to turn ideas into implementation in consideration of feasibility and cost.
Management, customer, and/or stakeholders will have ideas to implement new engineering solutions for business continuity.
However, they will only have brief concepts on the applicability. Our job is to refine their solutions and make them feasible for cost, user-friendliness and manufacturing. The processes to do so are;
1) When being first approached, I will Identify what the management wants by asking thought-provoking questions such as;
i) what is the purpose behind this?
ii) who will benefit from this design
iii) how do you foresee it to look like?
iv) how do you intend to conduct deployment?
v) why do you want it to be like this?
2) Clarify any doubts that you may find such as;
i) Potential hurdle
ii) Not logical to be implemented
iii) alternative solution to certain features
iv) research or ask someone with experience on the topic
3) Understand if there are issues in the environment such as;
i) (temperature, outdoor, terrain)
ii) people (age of operators, ease of learning, and deployment)
iii) safety (prevent users from danger, protect them)
iv) process automation to free up manpower to complete other tasks
4) Use CAD software, such as SolidWorks, Creo, Inventor, and more to;
i) create models and visualize behaviors of mechanical movements
ii) understand and visualise the design better
iii) communicate and align expectations with management and stakeholders
iv) create small scale prototyping using 3d printing
5) If required, physical prototype the concept by using ice cream stick, cardboard, wood, aluminum profiles, and even metal fabrication to test relevant concepts and observe what can be improved.
6) For electronics and automation, good to have the actual product on hand to test out to see if the fundamentals like driving the system, and automate it are implementable and executable.
However, you must explain the cost needed with the confidence of getting these items to work as per their requirements.
7) Once a full proposal is up, invite relevant management and stakeholders to verify if the concept aligns to their vision. If yes, proceed with fabrication; otherwise, make a refinement.
i) Always research to find proof before commenting on the feasibility of the deisgn concept
ii) Draw diagrams and processes to help you visualise and ensure you are certain about the implementation
iii) Inviting related suppliers for a meeting, speaking to experienced people, and asking experienced peers will be helpful to your technical assessment
iv) If possible, communicate and update frequently with the person who initiated the design as this will make expectation management much easier later on
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