In last blog about Design Innovation, we covered the benefits of standardization versus innovation, along with the many approaches engineers can take to new projects—such as combining design elements, employing new materials, utilizing innovative technologies and redesigning for new process controls.
After your company’s design method and approaches have been carefully considered, it’s time to move forward with performance modeling—which may require introducing outside experts to the design process. Our final blog will address the importance of modeling and metrics and justify the addition of outside design team resources.
Performance Modeling through Finite Element Analysis or Other Computer Simulation
Design modeling is an accurate way to simulate stress, strain,
heat transfer and fluid flow through the use of finite element analysis (FEA). The sophistication of multi-dimensional FEA packages allows design teams to measure hardware performance before cutting, taping or making other physical changes to the design. Accurate modeling requires software expertise, however, along with an understanding of available materials and design parameters. Once an FEA model has been completed and verified by correlating measured system performance with model predictions, design changes can be made with confidence.
Remember, in order to save time and money and ensure that you’re meeting all project objectives, it is wise to integrate a modeling expert into your design efforts.
Since each project drives to various performance metrics, major system elements can be assigned a target value. This type of assessment is derived from treating the overall system design as an integration of sub-elements, allowing respected senior-level staff to address how each sub-system impacts overall projected system metrics (like cost, reliability and overall performance).
Bolstering Your Design Team with Outside Experts
While your organization may have the expertise to create design models and determine project parameters, you may be lacking in design function. Some designs are very specialized, and require niche resources to proceed successfully. Other times, design projects are not large-scale enough to justify the hiring of a complete design team while paying for licensing, laboratory and software expenses. For this reason, many successful companies rely on other contractors for design services—just as they do for manufacturing, inventory management and distribution.
Whether you require mechanical, electrical, materials or design challenge expertise, contact the engineering experts at Glew. Our team is available in a number of consulting capacities, and can manage design function and FEA—or augment your existing team as needed. Contact us today to learn more about Glew’s design innovation experience and options.
Product Design: Fundamentals and Methods N.F.M.Roozenburg and J. Eekels Copyright 1995 John Wiley & Sons
Product Design and Development Karl T. Ulrich and Steven D. Eppinger Copyright 2000, 1995 McGraw-Hill Companies