As meticulous as your design teams were during the development and testing of your product, there is still work to be done. Your production team will need to continue monitoring products during the manufacturing process. This is where industrial design engineering can have its greatest impact—helping you to ensure the utmost quality and integrity for your product.
Understanding How Industrial Design Engineering Works
Although on the surface a broad term, industrial design engineering can be broken down into several elements. These will apply to all stages of the product development lifecycle but will do so differently than during the actual production stage. Below are a few examples of what these tasks are, and how they apply to the production stage of a product’s lifecycle.
The advantage of CAD software is the ability to make design changes whenever necessary. This advantage gains teeth when a product is in the manufacturing stage, as production defects can be quickly redesigned and tested without having to go through the full prototyping process. The finalized changes can then be quickly sent digitally to production management teams.
Defects noticed during and post-production requires the eye of an expert to fully diagnose and make an informed diagnosis of the issue. Having a team of experienced quality design engineers on hand will allow you to quickly make these tough decisions with the necessary confidence and accuracy, minimizing the impact of related manufacturing delays.
Create a Rapid Response Playbook
Otherwise known as quality assurance, this well-defined set of quality and production guidelines will keep your lines moving. The systemic functionality of a comprehensive quality assurance plan minimizes risk through planned auditing tasks that adhere to strict guidelines. This also reduces delays in getting the right people on the right task for faster resolution.
Letting the Industrial Design Team Drive Production
As the above demonstrates, putting your industrial design team on point to drive production is an effective strategy. Having proven quality assurance and control processes in their pockets and the innovative CAD tools at their fingertips, a team of industrial design engineers can efficiently drive production with a minimum of risk.
Validate Trueness to Design
The best way to resolve an issue is to prevent it from ever happening. The industrial design engineer accomplishes this during manufacturing by evaluating all aspects of production, from the proper calibration of production machinery to finely detailed measurement comparisons of final production items and physical prototype models.
Provide Rapid Response Engineering Tasks
When a problem is identified, the last thing you want to do is to hold countless meetings to determine an appropriate response. Placing an industrial design engineer at the head of the table will bring a fully scripted, largely automated response that can appropriately resolve almost any issue that arises during production. This minimizes downtime and ensures consistent product quality.
Supervise the Entirety of the Production
While seemingly outside of the technical expertise of an engineer, it will be these analytical viewpoints that can add better efficiency to production. Giving your design engineering team the ability to monitor all aspects of the manufacturing process will allow them to make proactive changes. For example, they may see that a CNC machine may need to be calibrated more frequently, or recommend that its technician has been given additional training.
Building Brand Identity Through Industrial Design Actions
One of the most understated and often misunderstood attributes of industrial design engineering is its ability to create the brand identity of the product. The industrial design engineer typically is involved from the conceptual design of a product’s features and functionalities right on down to the nuances of appearances and tactile responses. Their high level of involvement throughout the various product design stages is perfect for helping to drive its identity in the marketplace.
The contribution made to the marketability of the final product is fairly simple to describe. The attributes that are integrated into the final design will have stemmed from a noted shortfall or gap in the marketplace. This means that a known potential customer base exists, and the features you are presenting are already geared towards catching the attention of this audience to help them solve a problem.
With the product performance already setting itself up for marketing success, the focus turns towards aesthetics, usability, and support. The most effective industrial design engineer will be able to build a product with all three of these in mind. They must also be able to translate tech-speak into documentation that is easily understood by the product’s audience and general laypeople. It is through these basics that a product’s course and success are largely determined.
Outsourcing An Industrial Design Engineering Team Will Yield Efficiencies
The improvements in efficiency and the promise of lowered risk are enough to convince most product teams that an industrial design engineering team is a necessity. But instead of planning for an increased staffing budget and talent recruitment, turn instead to a manufacturing partner that offers engineers as a part of one-stop product development and manufacturing shop.
PRL’s engineers have dozens of manufacturing options available to help you solve any challenge facing your product: CNC machining, custom tooling, 3D printing, thermoplastic molding, reverse engineering, and more. No matter what stage your product is currently at, we can create it and optimize it for manufacturing.