To recap what was covered in the first blog during a Metal to Plastic Conversion, the following steps were reviewed:
• During the collaboration target setting meetings, the cross-functional group agreed to the key characteristics of the part/system under design consideration.
• Goals to achieve during the conversion were identified by the group
• Prioritization of goals was determined
• Written document was sent to each of the participants listing the key goals and their priority
At the beginning of the second step, Developing Design Concepts, it is important to review the written document setting initial targets and their priority with the group. Any additional feedback should be requested and any changes to the goals or their priority discussed. Following approval or changes by the group on the targets and their priority, we are then ready to begin developing design concepts. To stimulate discussion, the following questions can be used:
1. What are the deficiencies with the current part or system? What isn’t working? Too costly, too heavy, poor performance, etc.?
2. Any lessons learned from previous attempts to redesign part/system?
3. Are there any constraints that must be considered from outside? Legal, environmental, etc.
4. How do our competitor parts/systems perform? What would be considered world class performance?
5. What is this part/system interfacing with? Is it a consideration? What are the operational needs or requirements of the new part/system?
6. How would the ideal (maybe even fantasy) part/system appear and how would it perform?
7. Are there any patents or costs constraints that should or must be considered? Begin with some basic questions of “what, who, where, why, when and how”
8. What are the minimum requirements of the new plastic part?
The purpose of this step is to generate and document ideas that are unencumbered by the current design. As the brain storming evolves and progresses, the IVP engineer will not only keep notes but insert appropriate questions that will assist the engineer in converting the design ideas to a design concept. This session should be limited to an hour, unless it is determined that not all of the ideas have been properly vetted. The goal is to give the IVP engineer enough information to be able to create a basic CAD model for the next meeting.
During the next blog, we will cover the third step in successfully converting a part/system from metal to plastic, which is part/system Simulation and Modeling Analysis. During the next step, the results of the brain storming session will be reviewed and discussed before the third step is started.