Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Role The of Industrial Engineer in Product Design - Points Made by William McAlee and Harold Lawson

The article was published in the 2nd Edition of Maynard Industrial Engineering Handbook as chapter 10.5

Industrial engineering has a role in both the design for making and design for selling.

Industrial engineer's knowledge of methods improvement, motion economy and motion study, work measurement using stop watch as well as predetermined motion times enable him to redesign the product designs to make the less costly to manufacture and also make them less costly to use by the user.

Design for Making

The industrial engineer is a key person reviewing the design. He makes an analysis of design to determine if it is possible to manufacture at an economical cost. Based on the analysis, he finds ways to reduce costs through suggested design modifications prior to final design approval,

Industrial engineer is also an engineer and hence has knowledge of design process and method. He redesigns the production process also to obtain lower cost of production.  He does this without affectinig the quality, appeal, salability, or any other aspect of the product desired by the customer and explicitly designed in by the product design team. An industrial engineer does this work by his knowledge of equipment, processes, tools, wages and the like.

The typical examples of suggestions by industrial engineers for redesign were given by the authors as:

1. Relocation of holes, appendages, fasteners, and the like for easier access in processing or assembly.
2. Modification of design to use existing tools, jigs, fixtures or equipment.  (especially if a new equipment is suggested that will have low utlization)
3. Addition of tapers, rounded edges, and symmetry to parts to simplify positioning required for assembly.
4. Specification of easier to use fasteners (Shigeo Shingo came out with various ideas on fasteners to reduce set up times of machines)
5. Use of free machining stock or use of materials having higher machinability.

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