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PRODUCT DESIGN SPECIFICATION (PDS) PDS is a document that specifies the product to be designed. Once it's established, it acts as the mantle or cloak that envelopes all the subsequent stages in the design core. The PDS thus acts as the control for the total design activity, because it places the boundaries on the subsequent designs. Conceptual design is carried out within the envelope of PDS, and this applies to all succeeding stages until the end of the core activity. PDS is itself a dynamic rather that static document. It is an evolutionary, comprehensive written document that has evolved to match the characteristics of the final product. In some cases the PDS is a contractual document, thus implications of proposed changes upon the contract should be considered. A comprehensive PDS can be prepared during the initial stages of the design process using the following tools: Market research Competition analysis Literature searching Patent extracting A product based on a “blank sheet of paper” design -single ideas (Eureka’s) - are unlikely to compete with, say Japanese products, unless you are extremely fortunate and luck. Japanese products pay great attention to detail and voice of the costumer is embodied in the PDS. To be successful, you have the systematic and thorough, paying meticulous attention to detail from the beginning to the end of the design activity. The PDS is the fundamental control mechanism that allows this success to manifest itself. The PDS must be comprehensive and unambiguous. At the end of the design process the product must balanced with the PDS. Poor PDS leads to poor design that will fail in the market. Good PDS does not guarantee good design but make the goal more attainable. PDS set the design in context that is a comprehensive set of constraints. 1
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THE CONTENTS OF A PRODUCT DESIGN SPECIFICATION 1. PERFORMANCE Performance should be fully defined, i.e., how fast, how slow, how often, continuously vs. discontinuous, energy requirements- electrical, hydraulic, pneumatic, tolerance, etc. A common failing in specification performance is to ask for the ultimate, rather than which is obtainable from economic point of view. In practice the client is amazed that the product emerging from their specifications cost too much. It takes litter effort thought to specify zero tolerances for any parameter, which in reality translate into infinite cost. Beware of “over-specification” of performance, and also remember that performance is but one component of the Product Design Specification. Example:
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