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Engineering design process

1.2 Feasibility
At rst, a feasibility study is carried out after which
schedules, resource plans and, estimates for the next
phase are developed. The feasibility study is an evaluation and analysis of the potential of a proposed project
to support the process of decision making. It outlines and
analyses alternatives or methods of achieving the desired
outcome. The feasibility study helps to narrow the scope
of the project to identify the best scenario. A feasibility
report is generated following which Post Feasibility Review is performed.

The engineering design process is a methodical series

of steps that engineers use in creating functional products
and processes. The process is highly iterative - parts of
the process often need to be repeated many times before
production phase can be entered - though the part(s) that
get iterated and the number of such cycles in any given
project can be highly variable.
It is a decision making process (often
iterative) in which the basic sciences, mathematics, and engineering sciences are applied
to convert resources optimally to meet a stated
objective. Among the fundamental elements
of the design process are the establishment
of objectives and criteria, synthesis, analysis,
construction, testing and evaluation

The purpose of a feasibility assessment is to determine

whether the engineers project can proceed into the design
phase. This is based on two criteria: the project needs to
be based on an achievable idea, and it needs to be within
cost constraints. It is important to have engineers with
experience and good judgment to be involved in this portion of the feasibility study.[2]

1.3 Conceptualization

One framing of the engineering design process delineates

the following stages: research, conceptualization, feasibility assessment, establishing design requirements, preliminary design, detailed design, production planning and
tool design, and production.[2] The steps tend to get articulated, subdivided, and/or illustrated in a variety of different ways, but they generally reect certain core principles regarding the underlying concepts and their respective sequence and interrelationship.


Following Feasibility, a concept study (conceptualization,

conceptual engineering) is performed. A concept study
is the phase of project planning that includes producing
ideas and taking into account the pros and cons of implementing those ideas. This stage of a project is done
to minimize the likelihood of error, manage costs, assess
risks, and evaluate the potential success of the intended
Once an engineering issue is dened, solutions must be
identied. These solutions can be found by using ideation,
the mental process by which ideas are generated. The
following are the most widely used techniques:[2]

Common Stages of the Engineering Design Process


trigger word - a word or phrase associated with the

issue at hand is stated, and subsequent words and
phrases are evoked.

A signicant amount of time is spent on locating information and research.[3] Consideration should be given to
the existing applicable literature, problems and successes
associated with existing solutions, costs, and marketplace

morphological chart - independent design characteristics are listed in a chart, and dierent engineering
solutions are proposed for each solution. Normally,
a preliminary sketch and short report accompany the
morphological chart.

The source of information should be relevant, including

existing solutions. Reverse engineering can be an effective technique if other solutions are available on the
market.[3] Other sources of information include the Internet, local libraries, available government documents, personal organizations, trade journals, vendor catalogs and
individual experts available.[3]

synectics - the engineer imagines him or herself as

the item and asks, What would I do if I were the
system?" This unconventional method of thinking
may nd a solution to the problem at hand. The vital aspects of the conceptualization step is synthesis.

Synthesis is the process of taking the element of the
concept and arranging them in the proper way. Synthesis creative process is present in every design.

Packaging requirements
External marking

brainstorming - this popular method involves thinking of dierent ideas, typically as part of a small
group, and adopting these ideas in some form as a
solution to the problem

Computer-aided design (CAD) programs have made the

detailed design phase more ecient. This is because a
CAD program can provide optimization, where it can reduce volume without hindering the parts quality. It can
also calculate stress and displacement using the nite element method to determine stresses throughout the part. It
1.4 Design requirements
is the engineers responsibility to determine whether these
stresses and displacements are allowable, so the part is
Establishing design requirements is one of the most imsafe.[5]
portant elements in the design process, and this task
is normally performed at the same time as the feasibility analysis. The design requirements control the de- 1.7 Production planning and tool design
sign of the project throughout the engineering design process. Some design requirements include hardware and The production planning and tool design consists in plansoftware parameters, maintainability, availability, and ning how to mass-produce the project and which tools
should be used in the manufacturing of the part. Tasks
to complete in this step include selecting the material, selection of the production processes, determination of the
1.5 Preliminary design
sequence of operations, and selection of tools, such as
The preliminary design, or high-level design (also called jigs, xtures, and tooling. This task also involves testFEED), bridges the gap between the design concept and ing a working prototype[2]to ensure the created part meets
the detailed design phase. In this task, the overall sys- qualication standards.
tem conguration is dened, and schematics, diagrams,
and layouts of the project will provide early project con1.8 Production
guration. During detailed design and optimization, the
parameters of the part being created will change, but the
With the completion of qualication testing and
preliminary design focuses on creating the general frameprototype testing, the engineering design process is
work to build the project on.[2]
nalized. The part must now be manufactured, and the
machines must be inspected regularly to make sure that
they do not break down and slow production.[2]
1.6 Detailed design
Following FEED is the Detailed Design (Detailed Engineering) phase which may consist of procurement as well. 2 Comparison with the Scientic
This phase builds on the already developed FEED, aiming
to further elaborate each aspect of the project by complete
description through solid modeling, drawings as well as
The engineering design process bears some similarity to
the scientic method. [6] Both processes begin with ex[2]
Some of the said specications include:
isting knowledge, and gradually become more specic in
the search for knowledge or a solution.
Operating parameters
Operating and nonoperating environmental stimuli
Test requirements

3 See also

External dimensions

Applied science

Maintenance and testability provisions

Axiomatic product development lifecycle (APDL)

Materials requirements


Reliability requirements

Design engineer

External surface treatment

Design review

Design life

Design science

Engineering analysis
Engineering design management
Ideal nal result
Interaction design
New product development
Software development process
Systems engineering process
Traditional engineering


[2] Ertas, A. & Jones, J. (1996). The Engineering Design
Process. 2nd ed. New York, N.Y., John Wiley & Sons,
[3] A.Eide, R.Jenison, L.Mashaw, L.Northup. Engineering:
Fundamentals and Problem Solving. New York City:
McGraw-Hill Companies Inc.,2002
[4] Ralph, P., and Wand, Y. A Proposal for a Formal Denition of the Design Concept. In, Lyytinen, K., Loucopoulos, P., Mylopoulos, J., and Robinson, W., (eds.), Design Requirements Engineering: A Ten-Year Perspective:
Springer-Verlag, 2009, pp. 103-136.
[5] Widas, P. (1997, April 9).
to nite element analysis.
Retrieved from
[6] Dieter, George; Schmidt, Linda (2007). Engineering Design. McGraw-Hill. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-07-283703-2.

Criteria for accrediting engineering programs, Engineering accrediting commission (PDF). ABET.
Ullman, David G. (2009) The Mechanical Design
Process, Mc Graw Hill, 4th edition, ISBN 9780072975741
Eggert, Rudolph J. (2010) Engineering Design, Second Edition, High Peak Press, Meridian, Idaho,
ISBN 978-0131433588


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