Design and Manufacturing - Study Notes

3.7 Detailed Morphology of Design

A design project goes through a number of time phases. Morphology of design refers to the collection of these time phases. The morphology of design as put forward by Morris Asimow can be elaborated as given below. It consists of seven phases.

Phase 1. Feasibility Study.

This stage is also called conceptual design. A design project always begins with a feasibility study. The purpose and activities during feasibility study are

•  To ascertain there really exists a need [ie the existence of need must be supported by necessary evidences, rather than the outcome of one's fancy]

•  Search for a number of possible solutions

•  Evaluate the solutions

i.e. is it physically realisable?

Is it economically worthwhile?

Is it within our financial capacity?

Phase 2 Preliminary (Embodiment) Design.

This is the stage art which the concept generated in the feasibility study is carefully developed. The important activities done at this stage are:

•  Model building & testing

•  Study the advantages and disadvantages of different solutions.

•  Check for performance, quality strength, aesthetics etc.




Phase III: Detail Design

Its purpose is to furnish the complete engineering description of the tested product. The arrangement, from, dimensions, tolerances and surface properties of all individual parts are determined. Also, the materials to be used and the manufacturing process to be adopted etc. are decided. Finally, complete prototype is tested.

Phase IV: Planning for manufacture

This phase includes all the production planning and control activities necessary for the manufacture of the product. The main tasks at this phase are

•  Preparation of process sheet, i.e. the document containing a sequential list of manufacturing processes.

•  Specify the condition of row materials.

•  Specify tools & machine requirements.

•  Estimation of production cost.

•  Specify the requirement in the plant.

•  Planning QC systems.

•  Planning for production control.

•  Planning for information flow system etc.

Phase V: Planning for Distribution

The economic success of a design depends on the skill exercised in marketing. Hence, this phase aims at planning an effective distribution system. Different activities of this phase are

•  Designing the packing of the product.

•  Planning effective and economic warehousing systems.

•  Planning advertisement techniques

•  Designing the product for effective distribution in the prevailing conditions.

Phase VI Planning for Consumption/use

The purpose of this phase is to incorporate in the design all necessary user- oriented features. The various steps are

•  Design for maintenance

•  Design for reliability

•  Design for convenience in use

•  Design for aesthetic features

•  Design for prolonged life

•  Design for product improvement on the basis of service data.

Phase VII: Planning for Retirement.

This is the phase that takes into account when the product has reached the end of useful life. A product may retire when

•  It does not function properly

•  Another competitive design emerges

•  Changes of taste or fashion

The various steps in this phase are

•  Design for several levels of use

•  Design to reduce the rate of obsolescence.

•  Examine service-terminated products to obtain useful information.

3.8. Methods of Innovative Design

As we know, innovative design is an organized, systematized and logical approach for solving a design problem. There are two design methods for innovative design.

•  Design by creative design route

•  Engineering Design

•  Design by creative routs [Creative Design]

This is a design method that demands maximum ‘creativity' from the part of the designer. Hence this method is also called creative design. Here the designer finds solutions to problems by allowing his creativity aspects grow in a particular manner.

Creativity [S94, W95, W98, S03]

Majority of designs belong to variant design, where the designer simply modifies an existing system. But the success of engineering design depends on the modes of thinking and acting distinctively different from others. A creative designer is distinguished by his ability to synthesize new combinations of ideas and concepts into meaningful and useful forms. Design is commonly thought of as a creative process involving the use of imagination and lateral thinking to create new and different products.

Qualities of a creative designer [S96, S00, S03]

The creative designer is generally a person of average intelligence, a visualiser, a hard worker and a constructive non-conformist with average knowledge about the problem at hand.

Generally, a creative designer has the following qualities.

•  Visualization ability.

Creative designers have good ability to visualize, to generate and manipulate visual images in their heads.

•  Knowledge

All designers start their job with what they know. During designing, they make minor modifications of what they already know –or, creative designers create new ideas out of bits of old designs they had seen in the past. Hence, they must have knowledge of past designs.

•  Ability to manipulate knowledge

The ability to use the same knowledge in a different way is also an important quality of a designer.

•  Risk taking

A person who does not take the risk of making mistakes cannot become a good designer. For example, Edison tried hundreds of different light bulb designs before he found the carbon filament.

•  Non-conformist

There are two types of non-conformists:-constructive and obstructive. Constructive non-conformists are those who take a firm stand, because they think they are right. Obstructive non-conformists are those who take a stand just to have an opposing view. The constructive non-conformists might generate a good idea. But the obstructive non-conformists will only slow down the design process. Creative designers are constructive non-conformists, and they want to do things in their own way.

•  Technique

Creative designers have more than one approach to problem solving. They are prepared to try alternative techniques, till they reach a satisfactory solution.

•  Motivation

They always motivate others in the design team. In such a favourable environment creativity is further enhanced.

•  Willingness to practice

Creativity comes with practice. Creative designers are ready to practice for a long enough period.

Roadblocks to Creativity

•  Fear of making a mistake

•  Unwillingness to think and act in a way other than the accepted norm.

•  Desire to conform to standard solutions.

•  Unwillingness to try new approaches

•  Fear of criticism

•  Lack of knowledge

•  Overconfidence due to past experience

•  Unwillingness to reject old solutions

•  Fear of authority

•  Difficulty in visualization

•  Inability to distinguish between cause and effect

•  Inability to collect complete information

•  Unwillingness to be different




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