Engineering Designers' Requirements on Design for Environment Methods and Tools

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH

Author: Mattias Lindahl; Kth.; [2005]

Abstract: Given a special focus on Design for Environment (DfE) methods and tools, the objectives of this thesis are to, “Identify basic design-related requirements that a method or tool should fulfill in order to become actively used by engineering designers”, and to “Investigate how those basic requirements could be used to make DfE methods and tools more actively used in industry among engineering designers”.The research has shown that designers in general have three main purposes for utilizing methods and tools, of which the last two could be seen as subsets of the first one. The purposes are to: (1) facilitate various kinds of communication within the product development process; (2) integrate knowledge and experience into the methods and tools as a know-how backup; and (3) contribute with structure in the product development process. The low degree of follow-up implies a risk that methods and tools are used that affect the work within the company in a negative way. In order to be able to better follow-up methods and tools regarding both their utilization and usefulness, there is a need for a better definition of requirements for methods and tools.Most of all designers’ related requirements are related to their’ aims to fulfill the product performance and keep down the development time. This can be concluded as four major requirements, that a DfE method or tool, as well as a common method or tool, must exhibit: (1) be easy to adopt and implement, (2) facilitate designers to fulfill specified requirements on the presumptive product, and at the same time (3) reduce the risk that important elements in the product development phase are forgotten. Both these two latter requirements relate to a method or tool’s degree of appropriateness. The second and the third requirements are related to the fourth requirement, which is found to be the most important: that the use of the method or tool (4) must reduce the total calendar time (from start to end) to solve the task. The conclusion is that DfE methods and tools must be designed to comply to a higher degree with the main users - in this case the designers’ requirements for methods and tools


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