Innovative Product Design Conceptualization with Oil-Less Two-Stroke Engine as a Case Study
Innovative product design is a creative process, involving extensive skills and knowledge, numerous stakeholders with often conflicting interests, and a variety of trade-off decisions. The multitude of different variables to be considered together with the complex nature of engineering design confronts designers with a difficult challenge.
The objective of this thesis is to establish a methodology that will help to formalise and enhance innovative conceptual product design. To achieve this, an oil-less two-stroke engine concept has been taken as a case study in order to elaborate, demonstrate, and validate the proposed Innovative Conceptual Design framework. The methodology aims to yield design process insight and transparency, and embodies two major phases: the Pre-Development activities, including the identification of need and product definition, and the Conceptualization Loop, which comprises the determination of attributes, concept generation, concept evaluation, and concept decision.
In this present research, the Determination of Critical Design Issues together with Early Empirical Design are identified as two essential aspects of successful conceptual design. Early detection of potential design problems is vital for making intelligent and rapid concept decisions before significant development resources are committed. This approach also allows critical design issues to be tackled first in order to avoid going down blind alleys, and helps to control risk and cost.
The thesis presents the author’s view of conceptual design as involving a continuous focus on four major pillars of design, namely the Time Focus, the Innovation Focus, the Cost Focus, and the Simplicity Focus, the “TICS Focuses”. On the basis of this perception the discrete design activities during the entire design process aim to develop an innovative, inexpensive, and simple product that is introduced to the marketplace in a timely manner. This may require the designer to make a number of compromises, which can be facilitated by the early detection of design problems by means of Early Empirical Design.
In essence, the suggested conceptual design framework supports design engineers in making issues and problems obvious in the early, least-costly phases of product development. This is the key to accelerating the overall design process and avoiding product failures.