4Designing for Manufacture

4.1 Introduction

Manufacturing companies may produce products that they have designed, or they may produce them on behalf of another company that has produced their own designs. For example, mobile phones may be designed in the USA but manufactured in China. If the product designer and the manufacturer are to survive, it is essential that well‐designed products are created. Should a company's products not be designed to satisfy the needs of the consumer, then competitors' products will be purchased and the company will fail. This applies equally to domestic and export markets. Consider the contribution made by manufacturing to a nation's economy that was emphasised in Chapter 1, and that an inability of a company to sell its products leads inevitably to its demise. If this applies throughout a country's manufacturing industry it can be seen that good or bad product design can have a significant effect on the success or failure of the national economy.

Within the company, elements such as a good sales and marketing effort, tight cost controls and high productivity are useless if the design of the product is not what the customer wants. It must also be remembered that most of the cost of manufacturing a product is determined at the initial design stage: estimates of 70% in the car industry and 80% in the aerospace industry have been made. Materials and processes to be used are dictated by the product design. Therefore subsequent improvements in, for example, ...

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