Product Design Concept and Application
           Concept Generation

                     Krates Ng

                                                                         Decompose a complex problem into

         Step 3) Search Internally                                 Individual and Group Sessions
•   Suspend...

     Concept classification tree                                  Concept Combination Table

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PD73002 Concept Generation


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PD73002 Concept Generation

  1. 1. 12/2/2008 Product Design Concept and Application Concept Generation Krates Ng Fall 2008 1 2 Five Steps e.g. A cordless electric roofing nailer 3 4 Step 1) Clarify the problem Based on the assumptions • Mission statement • The nailer inserts nails in rapid in succession – To “design a better hand-held roofing nailer” • The nailer is lightweight • Assumptions • The nailer has no noticeable nailing delay after – The nailer will use nails tripping the tool – The nailer will be compatible with nail magazines on existing tools – The nailer will nail through roofing shingles into wood – The nailer will be hand-held 5 6 1
  2. 2. 12/2/2008 Decompose a complex problem into Basic needs to target specs simpler subproblems • Nail lengths from 25mm to 38mm • Functional decomposition • Max. nailing energy of 40j per nail First Step A single black box • Nailing forces of up to 2000N • Peak nailing rate of one nail per second • Average nailing rate of 12 nails per min. • Tool mass less than 4Kg Second Step Divide the single black • Max. trigger delay of 0.25 secs. box into sub-functions 7 8 Two other approaches • Decomposition by sequence of user actions • Decomposition by key customer needs – Useful for products with very simple technical – Useful for products in which form, and not functions involving a lot of user interaction. working principles or technology, is the primary – e.g. the nail problem might be broken down into 3 problem. user actions: moving the tool to the gross nailing – E.g. for the nailer, this decomposition might position, positioning the tool precisely, triggering include the following sub-problems: fire nails in the tool. rapid succession, is lightweight, and has a large nail capacity. 9 10 Step 2) Search Externally • Find existing solutions to both the overall – Search patents problem and the sub-problems. • http://www.google.com/patents – Search published literature – Five good ways to gather information • http://scholar.google.com • Lead users: are those users of a product who • Library, magazines…etc. experience needs months or years before the majority of the market and stand to benefit substantially from a – Benchmark related products product innovation. • Study of existing products with functionality simialr to that – e.g. nailer -> building contractors of the product under development or to the subproblems on which the team is focused. • Consult experts: professionals at firms manufacturing related products, professional consultants, university • Can reveal existing concepts that have been implemented to solve a particular problem, as well as information on the faculty…etc. strengths and weaknesses of the competition. 11 12 2
  3. 3. 12/2/2008 Step 3) Search Internally Individual and Group Sessions • Suspend judgment • Both can be useful • Generate a lot of ideas • e.g. • welcome ideas that may seem infeasible – The nailer team used both. During one week each member was assigned one or two subproblems • Use graphical and physical media and was expected to develop at least 10 solution concepts. The group then met to discuss and expand on the individually generated concepts. The more promising concepts were investigated further. 13 14 Hints for generating solution concepts • Make analogies • Use unrelated stimuli – e.g. to choose at random one of a collection of – What other devices solve a related problem. photographs of objects, and then to think of some • Wish and wonder way that the randomly generated object might relate to the problem at hand. – “I wish I could…” or “I wonder what would happen • Set quantitative goals if…” – Set targets, e.g. to generate 10 to 20 concepts. • Use related stimuli • Use the gallery method – Good to merge individual and group efforts. – e.g. generate a list of ideas (working alone) and – Display a large number of concepts simultaneously for then pass the list to his or her neighbor. discussion. 15 16 Step 4) Explore Systematically • After the external and internal search activities, the team will collect hundreds of concept fragments – solutions to the sub- problems. • E.g. if you have 3 sub-problems and each has 15 fragments, combinations = 15x15x15 = 3,375! 17 18 3
  4. 4. 12/2/2008 Concept classification tree Concept Combination Table 1. Pruning of less promising branches. 2. Identification of independent approaches to the problem. 3. Exposure of inappropriate emphasis on certain branches. 4. Refinement of the problem decomposition for a particular branch 19 20 Step 5) Reflect on the Solutions and the process • Is the team developing confidence that the solution space has been fully explored? • Are there alternative function diagrams? • Are there alternative ways to decompose the problem? • Have external sources been thoroughly pursued? • Have ideas from everyone been accepted and integrated in the process? 21 4