Table of Contents
ISRN Mechanical Engineering
Volume 2011, Article ID 739892, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2011/739892
Research Article

Rational Embracing of Modern Prototyping Capable Design Technologies into the Tools Pool of Product Design Teams

School of Mechanical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, 9 Iroon Polytechniou Street, 15773 Athens, Greece

Received 31 January 2011; Accepted 13 March 2011

Academic Editors: A. A. Kendoush and W. Polini

Copyright © 2011 Stamatios Polydoras et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Today’s markets impose wide sets of requirements for new products. The Process of New Product Design, has shifted from sequential Engineering to Concurrent Engineering, for low cost-early market entry. Design Teams must deliver highest quality within minimum time and cost and global crisis worsens things, by further reducing budgets. Prototyping within design processes has become crucial, whereas, available prototyping alternatives have increased. Decisions regarding the use of the most appropriate one, at specific design milestones, affects and much predetermines the success of the product. This paper addresses the problem of “design target”-based embracing of available prototyping alternatives into the tools pool of design teams, in a concise, integrated way. Considering product design teams are expert driven for specific product categories, the introduced approach records the verification intent of designers and binds it to structured Generic Levels of Technical and non-Technical Attribute clusters and associated Design Factors. Furthermore, prototyping experience, manufacturing capabilities and cost of the implementing organization, local industrial status and regulations, are also considered. Utilizing the Analytic Hierarchy Process a complete decision tree leads designers to select the most appropriate prototyping method per design stage. The proposed approach assists implementing organizations and design teams towards cost/time benefits, product risk reduction, decision repeatability and independence. A pilot-model has been developed with “Expert Choice” software and an application example is discussed.