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Chapter 2:
Need Identification, Problem Definition and
Firdaus Sukarman
Fakulti Kejuruteraan Mekanikal
Lesson Outcome

• At the end of this session, students should be

able to:
– Understand and identify the need and the
problem in mechanical design
– Understand and utilize the design process, related
to team behavior, tool and Gantt chart.

1 Identifying Customer Need

2 Customer Requirement

3 Product Design Specification

Planning the Design Process:
4 Team Behavior, Tools and Gantt Chart
Chapter 2:Need Identification, Problem
Definition and Planning

1. Identifying Customer Need

Identifying Customer Need

Product development begins by determining what the

needs are that a product must meet.

Problem definition is the most important

of these steps in the PDP.
Identifying Needs

Concepts Understanding any problem thoroughly

is crucial to reaching an outstanding

The problem definition process is mainly the need

identification step.
Identifying Customer Need

Problem Definition: Start of the Conceptual Design Process

Identifying Customer Need

Always wanted to find out the information's related to the

Businessman Who are my customers? What does the customer want?
How can the product satisfy the customer while
generating profit?

By Webster as “one that purchases a product or service”.

(end user).
Definition of a
By TQM as “anyone who receives or uses what an
individual or organization provides”.
Identifying Customer Need

Internal Customer (Inside the company)

•i.e; staff in management, manufacturing, sales.
•Design engineer receives material properties from
material specialist.

2 Types
External Customer (Outside of the company)
•Important for development of the product design specs for
new or improved product.
Identifying Customer Need

The research on customer needs for a particular product or for the

development of a new product is done using a number of formal
methods and by different business units.

By marketing department specialist or team made up of

marketing and design professionals
Research on
Needs Marketing specialist
Focus on the buyer of the product and similar products

Focus on needs that are unmet in the marketplace, product similar
to proposed product, historical ways of meeting the need and
technological applications similar to the proposed product
Identifying Customer Need

Interviews with the customers

•Marketing actively meet the customer.
•Get the info on the strength and weakness of the product.
•Record customer response

Focus groups
•A moderated discussion group of 6 to 12 customers or targeted customers.
•Facilitator to guide the discussion with advantage or disadvantage of the products.
Gathering •Record customer response

Information Customer complaints

from •Can be recorded through communications (telephone, fax, email etc…) to service center or
warranty department or etc...
Customers •Website that has rating on the product and the comment.

Methods Warranty data

•Product service center and warranty data/card.
•Can determine the defect of the product.

Customer survey
•Written questionnaires
•Redesign of the existing product or new product that well understood by the public.
•It is to gain the opinions about the product.
•It is also to prioritize the problems and to assess whether the implementation was successful
Identifying Customer Need

Example of Customer Survey

Chapter 2:Need Identification, Problem
Definition and Planning

2. Customer Requirement
Customer Requirement

Is a ranked listing of what customers need and

want from the product being designed.

Requirements Reflects the user opinion about the
quality of the products

Some information can be retrieved from this

listing compared to the methods of
Customer Requirement

Physiological needs
Such as thirst, hunger, sleep, shelter. It is the basic needs of the
body. The prime influence of individual’s behavior.

Safety and security needs

Such as protection against danger, deprivation and threat.
Human needs
motivate individual Social needs
in general Such as love and esteem for others. These include belonging to
groups, group identity, and social acceptance.
Hierarchy Psychological needs
Such as self-esteem, self-respect and for accomplishment
and recognition.
Self-fulfillment need
Such as the realization of one’s full potential through self-
development, creativity and self-expression.
Customer Requirement

Performance: what the design should do when it is completed

and in operation.

Time: dimension includes all time aspects of the

Design Point

Cost: monetary aspects of the design.

Quality: complex characteristic with many aspects and definitions.

Customer Requirement

Executers: These are the basic attributes that one would expect to
see in the product, i.e., standard features.

Spoken: These are the specific features that customers

Classifying say they want in the product.
Unspoken: These are product attributes the customer
Kano : 4 levels does not generally talk about, but they remain important
to him or her.

Exciters: Often called delighters, these are product features that

make the product unique and distinguish it from the competition.
Customer Requirement

Kano Diagram
Customer Requirement

Garvin’s Eight Dimensions of Quality

Customer Requirement

Conducting firsthand observation (product

Existing Products Reading product and technical literature

Applying the principals of physics and
engineering sciences to the task
Customer Requirement

Observing a product during its use is one of the most natural ways to
gather information about it.

The process of taking the object apart to see how it works

is known as both product dissection and reverse
Dissection The product dissection process includes four activities:
• Discover the operational requirements of the product.
• Examine how the product performs its functions.
• Determine the relationship between parts of the product.
• Determine the manufacturing and assembly processes used to produce the

Engineers do reverse engineering to discover information that they

cannot access any other way
Customer Requirement

Consumer Product Literature:

• There are private nonprofit organization dedicated to
informing consumers about products (e.g. Consumers

Internet Shopping Sites:

• Internet sites exist to compile information for
specialty products.
Product and
Technical Literature:
• In addition to information from special interest
publications, there are scholarly journals that
publish research quality information.

Patent Literature:
• Not all products are patented, but patent literature does
include inventions that have become successful products.
Chapter 2:Need Identification, Problem
Definition and Planning

3. Product Design Specification

Product Design Specification
Establishing the engineering characteristics is a
critical step toward writing the product design

The process of identifying the needs that a

product must fill is a complicated
Establishing the
Engineering Just knowing what a customer or end user
Characteristics wants from a product is not sufficient for
generating designs.
Concept generation starts when a good
description of the product is given.

A “good description” of a product is comprised of

solution-neutral specifications.
Product Design Specification

Design Parameters:
• Parameters are a set of physical properties whose
values determine the form and behavior of a design.

Description Design Variable:

of a • A design variable is a parameter over which the
Product design team has a choice.

• A design parameter whose value has been fixed
becomes a constraint during the design process.
Product Design Specification

Benchmarking is a process for measuring a company’s

operations against the best practices of companies both
inside and outside of their industry.

Genera and
Competitive Benchmarking operates most effectively on a quid pro
Performance quo basis.

A company can look for benchmarks in many different places.

Product Design Specification

Fear of being perceived as copiers

Fear of yielding competitive advantages if information is

Resistance to
Arrogance: A company may feel that there is nothing
useful to be learned by looking outside of the

Impatience: Companies that engage in an improvement program

often want to begin making changes immediately
Product Design Specification

Select the product, process, or functional area of the

company that is to be benchmarked:
• That will influence the selection of key
performance metrics that will be measured and
used for comparison.

Two Initial Steps Identify the best-in-class companies for each process to
• A best-in-class company is one that performs the
process at the lowest cost with the highest degree
of customer satisfaction, or has the largest market
Product Design Specification
Determine features, functions, and any other factors that are important to:
• End user satisfaction
• Technical success of the product

Determine functions that are:

• Increase the costs of the product
• Have the greatest potential for improvement

Determine the features and functions that differentiate the

Benchmarking product from its competitors.

Competitive- Establish metrics by which the most important functions or

Performance features can be quantified and evaluated.

Evaluate the product and its competing products using performance testing.

Generate a benchmarking report summarizing all information learned about

the product, data collected, and conclusions about competitors.
Product Design Specification

In the product development process, the results of the design

planning process that governs the engineering design tasks are
compiled in the form of a set of product design specification

The PDS is the basic control and reference document for the
design and manufacture of the product.
Product Design

What is it? The PDS is a document that contains all of the facts related
to the outcome of the product development.

Creating the PDS finalizes the process of establishing the customer needs
and wants, prioritizing them, and beginning to cast them into a technical
framework so that design concepts can be established.
Product Design Specification

The number of sections or areas of specification can vary from

one design team to another; however there are some
recommended headings as detailed below:
a) What does the product need to do?
b) What speeds does it need to operate at?
Product c) What loads will it experience?
Specification a) Can the performance required be realized at a
reasonable, practical cost
Recommended b) Will making the performance specification more
Section lenient help lower the cost?
3.Target production cost
a) Estimate the realistic cost of making your
product, including materials, manufacturing
processes and down-time
b) Analyze competing products currently on the
Product Design Specification
4. Quantity
a) How many units are required to be produced?
5. Product life span
a) Estimate how long the product is to stay on the
6. Customers
a. Are there any customer demands?
b. Focus groups or questionnaires are often used
to find this information out and can mean
greater success for the product
7. Competition
a. Are there any similar products on the market?
b. Are there patents that prevent or hinder your
product from being developed?
c. Ideas for your product can come directly from
here and give an edge over other products
Product Design Specification
8. Service life
a) How long do you intend the product to last?
b) How often will it typically be used and at what
rate will it operate?
9. Environment
a. What type of environment will the product be
subjected to?
b. What is the ambient temperature, pressure and
c. Is there dirt, dust or insects?
d. Are there any corrosive fluids or chemicals?
e. Is any vibration or noise expected?
f. Wear and tear?
g. What about storage and transit?
10. Size
a. Maximum allowable size of the product?
11. Weight
a. What is the allowable weight range of the
Product Design Specification
12. Maintenance
a) Is there any maintenance required? If so, how
much is the customer expected to be able to
carry out?
b) Parts that need maintenance will need to be
easily accessible
13. Material
a) Specify any special materials to be used,
quoting any standards that must be adhered
b) Specify material restrictions or those to avoid in
the interest of safety i.e. toxic
14. Ergonomics
a) The product must be easy to operate, handle ,
adjusted, maintained and so on
b) The height, posture and strength are amongst
the variables of the target user that must be
Product Design Specification
15. Appearance
a. The appearance of a product is one of the
most important aspects in the customer buying
process and can often make all the difference
when compared to a similar product
b. The product may need to be compact, easy to
use and look robust
16. Finish
a. Specify the color options and surface finish
17. Quality and reliability
a. Quantify using statistical data from similar
18. Packaging
a. Will the product need any special or robust
packaging solution taking into account transit?
Product Design Specification
19. Industry standards
a. Which countries / regions of the world is your
product intended to be released?
b. Specify the appropriate standards and
20. Testing
a. Specify any planned tests that need to be
carried out such as corrosion tests, accelerated
life and fatigue testing
b. How will the data be collected?
c. How much will any tests cost?
21. Safety
1. The product should be designed for safe
2. Safe operating instructions should be
mentioned clearly in any literature and/or on
the product itself
3. Any legal obligations must be observed
Product Design Specification
22. Design time
a) Schedule enough time for the design phase of
the product development process
b) It is often costly to modify a design during or
after production

Product  As you can see, there are important details to

specify and most refer to the functional aspects
of the product.
 The form or appearance is considered but often
after the functions, since ultimately the product
should ‘do’ what it is designed to do.
 There is no point in having an aesthetically-
pleasing product that fails to perform its
 The PDS is an integral document to the whole
of the design process.
Product Design Specification

Identifying the true needs of customers and formulating

them in a set of goals for the problem solution.

Definition Its essential elements:
•A need statement
•Design constraints
•Definition of terms or conditions
•Criteria for evaluating the design
Product Design Specification

Goal statement should be concise, general and simple

(giving no hints towards a possible solution). 

It should be in terms of functional visualization to not limit

An important step in goal statement is clarifying the

design objectives, therefore a list of design objectives
should be prepared.

The best way to achieve this, is to create an objective

Product Design Specification

The objective tree method offers a clear and useful

format for the objective statement. It shows in
diagrammatic form the ways in which different objectives
are related to each other.

Objective Tree
The procedure are as follows:
•Prepare a list of design objectives.
•Order the list into sets of higher-level and lower-level
•Draw a diagrammatic tree of objectives showing
hierarchical relationships and interconnections.
Product Design Specification

Order into three hierarchical levels

Objective Tree •Machine must be safe

• Low risk of injury to operator
Example 1 • Low risk of operator mistakes
• Low risk of damage to work-piece or tool
• Automatic cut-out on overload
Product Design Specification

Machine must
be safe

Low risk of
Low risk of Low risk of
damage to
injury to operator
workpiece or
operator mistakes

W hy
Automatic cut-
• Example of objective tree out on
Chapter 2:Need Identification, Problem
Definition and Planning

4. Planning the Design Process: Team

Product Design Specification

Is a person who applies scientific knowledge to

satisfy a human’s needs.

Has the ability to design.

The Engineer
It is necessary to formulate a clear, exact
statement of the problem related to the
customer needs.

Thus, it should be determined whether or not the

immediate problem is part of the larger problem.
Planning the Design Process: Team Behavior

Small number of people with complementary skills

Committed to a common purpose,

performance goals, and approach for
which they hold themselves mutually
Team accountable.

Team that do real work
i.e. ; team design

Team that make recommendations

Planning the Design Process: Team Behavior
Take responsibility for the success of the team

Be a person who delivers on commitments

Effective Contribute the idea

Be a good listener

Develop techniques for getting your

message across the team

Give and receive useful feedback

Planning the Design Process: Team Behavior

Team goals are as important as individual goals

The team understands the goals and is committed to achieving them

Trust replaces fear, and people feel comfortable taking risks

Effective Team

Characteristic Respect, collaboration, and open-mindedness are prevalent

Team members communicate readily; diversity of opinions is encouraged

Decisions are made by consensus and have the acceptance and support of
the members of the team
Planning the Design Process: Team Behavior

Team members are all close to the same age

and level of formal education.

Student Design
VS Team members are peers and no one
Business World has authority over the other team
Team members.


Team members often prefer to work without a

designated leader in a shared leadership
Planning the Design Process: Team Behavior

An important role that is external to the team but vital to its

performance is the team sponsor.

The team sponsor is the manager who has the need for
the output of the team. In the case of the student design
Team Sponsor project the sponsor is the course instructor or a
representative from a company proposing the project.

The team sponsor provides any special resources needed by

the team, and formally commissions the team.
Planning the Design Process: Team Behavior

The team leader convenes and chairs the team

meetings using effective meeting management

Team Leader
He or she guides and manages the day-to-day activity of the
team by:
• Tracking the team’s accomplishment toward stated goals
• Helping team members to develop their skills
• Communicating with the sponsor about progress
• Trying to remove barriers toward progress
• Helping to resolve conflict within the team
Planning the Design Process: Team Behavior


3 styles
Planning the Design Process: Team Behavior

The team facilitator is a person trained in group dynamics who

assists the leader and the team in achieving its objectives by:
• Coaching them in team skills
• Problem-solving tools
• Assisting in data-collection activities
Facilitator While the facilitator functions as a team member in most
respects, she or he must remain neutral in team
(often found discussions.
in business)

A key role of the facilitator is to keep the group focused on its

Planning the Design Process: Team Behavior
Orientation (forming)
• The members are new to the team.
• They are probably both anxious and excited, yet unclear about
what is expected of them.

Dissatisfactions (storming)
•Now the challenges of forming a cohesive team become real.
•Differences in personalities, working and learning styles, cultural
backgrounds, and available resources begin to make themselves

Resolution (norming)
Dynamics • The dissatisfaction abates when team members establish
group norms, either spoken or unspoken, to guide the
process, resolve conflicts, and focus on common goals.
5 stages of team
Production (performing)
Stage of team development and works cooperatively.
Demonstrate performances and productivity.

Termination (adjourning)
When the task is completed, the team prepares to disband. Good
teams make suggestions on how to improve the team experience.
Planning the Design Process: Team Behavior

Are the members of the team safe from destructive personal attacks?
Team members need to be allowed equal opportunities to participate.
Appropriate level of interdependence
The balance of individuals need and the teams needs.
Team Cohesiveness
Dynamics Is the team member bonds together with the other members.
Sets of team Do team members trust each other and the leader?
challenges Conflict resolutions
Does the team have a way to resolve conflict?
Do team members or the team as a whole have influence over members?
Can the team perform tasks and achieve goals?
Planning the Design Process: Team Behavior


Different behavior
Roles in
Planning the Design Process: Team Behavior
• Most of work of team is accomplished in the team
• All team members developed together a solution
• Reason for the design project taking too much
time is related to inability to organize their
meetings and manage their time effectively.
• Effective meeting requires planning.

• Meetings should be last for about 90
Team minutes.
Meetings • Must have written agenda, i.e; topics
• Items of greatest urgency should be
Characteristic placed first on the agenda
and tips

A well functioning team achieves its

objectives quickly and efficiently in an
environment that induces energy and
Planning the Design Process: Team Behavior

• Pick a regular meeting location and try not to change it.

• Pick a meeting location that:
• Is agreeable, accessible to all, and conducive to
• Has breathing room when there is full attendance!
• Has a pad and easel in the room!
Rules • Is not too hot, too cold, or too close to noisy
for distractions!
Meeting • Regular meeting times are not as important as confirming
Success the time of meetings.
• Send an email reminder to team members just before the
first of several meetings.
1 • If you send materials out in advance of a meeting, bring
extra copies just in case people forget to bring theirs, or
they did no arrive.
• Start on time!
• Pass out an agenda at the beginning of the meeting and
get the team’s concurrence with the agenda
Planning the Design Process: Team Behavior

• Rotate the responsibility for writing summaries

of each meeting.
• Notice members who come late, leave early,
or miss meetings.
• Observe team members who are not
Rules • Occasionally use meeting evaluations to
for gather anonymous feedback on how the group
Meeting is working together.
• Do not bring guests or staff support or add
2 team members without seeking the permission
of the team.
• Avoid canceling meetings!
• End every meeting by creating a list of action
• Follow up with any person who does not
Chapter 2:Need Identification, Problem
Definition and Planning

4. Planning the Design Process: Tools

Planning the Design Process: Tools

Problem definition
3 step of strategy
Cause finding

Solution finding and

Planning the Design Process: Tools


Affinity diagram
•Identify the inherent similarity between items.
•Used to organized ideas, facts and opinions into natural
Problem groupings.
Definition •It is done after brainstorming session.
• it breaks down a problem into major issues
• stimulates a clear understanding of the idea
• abandon poor idea.

Pareto chart
•The results of survey is best displayed by Pareto chart.
•Bar chart used to prioritize causes or issues.
Planning the Design Process: Tools

Gathering Data

Analyzing Data
Cause Finding •Check sheet
Tools •Flowchart
•Pareto Chart

Search For Root Cause

•Cause and effect diagram
•Why-why diagram
•Interrelationship diagram
Planning the Design Process: Tools

Flow Chart
Planning the Design Process: Tools

Pareto Chart
Planning the Design Process: Tools
Also known as fishbone diagram or Ishikawa diagram.

Graphical view to identify cause of the problems.

Cause and Develop after collecting data on possible causes of the problem.
Problem statement placed on the right.

Root cause are drawn at angle to the backbone or the ribs of the fish
(generic categories).

The cause is drawn along one of the ribs

Planning the Design Process: Tools


Example 1
Planning the Design Process: Tools


Example 2
Planning the Design Process: Tools

To dig deeper root cause.

Why – Why

Starts with basic problem and ask “WHY”

Planning the Design Process: Tools

Why – Why

Example 1
Planning the Design Process: Tools

Explores the cause and

effect relationship among
issues and identifies the
root cause
Planning the Design Process: Tools

Planning the Design Process: Tools

Solution Finding
•How-how diagram
Solution Planning •Concept selection
•Force field analysis
•Written implementation plan
Planning the Design Process: Tools

Tree diagram

How – How

Start with proposed solution and ask

Planning the Design Process: Tools

How – How
Planning the Design Process: Tools

Technique that identifies forces that both help (drive) and

hinder (restrain) the implementation of the solution.

Force Field Chart of pros and cons.


It helps developing strategies for implementation of solution.

Planning the Design Process: Tools

Force Field

Planning the Design Process: Tools

Problem – solving process should end with the development

of specific actions to implement the solution.

Written Think hard on maximizing the driving forces and

Implementation minimizing the restraining force.

Can be summarize in a flowchart.

Planning the Design Process: Tools


Chapter 2:Need Identification, Problem
Definition and Planning

4. Planning the Design Process: Gantt

Planning the Design Process: Gantt Chart

Time is an invaluable and irreplaceable


The chief difference between time

Time Management management in college and as a
practicing engineer is that time
Why is it management in the world of work is less
important? repetitive and predictable than when you
are in college.

Effectiveness is doing the right things, but

efficiency is doing those things the right way,
in the shortest possible time!
Planning the Design Process: Gantt Chart

Consists of identifying the key activities in
a project and ordering them in the
sequence in which they should be
Planning performed.
Consists of putting the plan into the time
frame of the calendar.
Planning the Design Process: Gantt Chart

• The design must possess an acceptable level of operational
capability or the resources expended on it will be wasted

• In the early phases of a project the emphasis is on accurately
estimating the length of time required to accomplish the various tasks
and scheduling to ensure that sufficient time is available to complete
Four those tasks.
Decisions Cost:
• The importance of cost in determining what is feasible in an
engineering design has been emphasize in earlier chapters.

• Risks are inherent in anything new.
Planning the Design Process: Gantt Chart

Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) is a tool used to divide a project

into manageable segments to ensure that the complete scope of
work is understood.

The WBS lists the tasks that need to be done.

Work Breakdown
The tasks are expresses as outcomes (deliverables)
instead of planned actions.

Outcomes are used instead of actions because they are easier to

predict accurately at the beginning of a project.
•Example of WBS can bee seen in Table 4.4
Planning the Design Process: Gantt Chart

Gantt chart was introduced by Henry L. Gantt

and Frederick Taylor in the early 1900s.

Gantt chart is in the form of a bar chart.

Gantt charts are planning charts used to

schedule resources and allocate time.

Gantt Chart
To establish a Gantt Chart is by;
•List all events or milestones of the project in
ordered list.
•Estimate the time required to establish the event.
•List the starting time and end time for each event.
•Represent the information in a bar chart.
Planning the Design Process: Gantt Chart
Planning the Design Process: Gantt Chart

1. Rozaini Othman, Lecture Notes, MEC332

2. Engineering Design,G.E. Dieter and Linda C. Schmidt,
4th Edition, McGraw-Hill, 2009.
3. D. G. Ullman, The Mechanical Design Process, 3rd
edition, McGraw-Hill, 2003.
4. Machine Design, R-S-Khurmi-J-K-Gupta-S-chand, 2005
5. S. Laguette, Lecture Notes, “Introduction to
Mechanical Engineering Design, ME 153” Spring 2010
6. Wikipedia