System or Machine Design Cycle: Recognition of a Need

System or Machine Design Cycle: Recognition of a Need
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Recognise the Need

Recognition of a need is the first and the most important step of the machine design or system design cycle (see fig below), without this first step no further steps of the machine design can be taken. It is the need that gives birth to various other steps of the design. If there is no need there won’t be any reasons to start the detailed, time consuming and highly complex problem of designing.

Sources of Need

The needs can be in various forms and can arise due to various reasons, some of these are given below:

  1. The company wants to launch a new product; this is the need of the company. The competition has launched a product with some great features and it has been an instant hit, to counter it the company must launch the new product with better features. Even if the competition has not launched any product, the company has to keep on launching new products to keep it updated to the latest technological trends going on in the market. The company may also launch the new innovative product to capitalize on the new technology. It is due to this need for launching the new product that company starts designing the product. Due to need for new product launch or innovation the company starts machine design or system design.

  2. The company may have been receiving the feedback from various customers regarding its existing product and accordingly they may have found the need to redesign the product or machine and make the changes for the betterment of the product. Thus redesigning the existing product is another important need that starts the whole procedure of designing.

  3. Lots of changes have been going on in the socio economic scene. Say for instance some communities prefer cheap mobile handsets over the latest hi-tech gadgets, so the company has to design the product especially for the low budget community. The companies providing water supply systems in the communities have to provide tailor made solution to all the communities located in different parts of the country depending on the habits of the local people and source of available water.

  1. The company may have carried out extensive studies of the market or the consumer needs and accordingly have decided to launch a new product.

Important Points about the Need to Recognize

The need may be existing or it may not yet exist, but the evidence may be existing that the need is latent i.e. the need can be evoked when economic means for the satisfaction become available.

In whatever manner the need exists, and whatever its emergency may be the company must first consider its economic viability. Only if they are confident about the feasibility of the product, they should move ahead with the next steps of designing. The designing itself is a very long, complex and time consuming process, there is no meaning in carrying out the exercise that doesn’t looks economic right at the beginning.

Following points regarding the need are worth noting:

  1. Study the nature of the need and find out how urgent and important it is.
  1. Establish the need reasonably well to the extent possible. That means try to be as clear as possible with the need.

  2. Make a primitive statement of a need.

  3. Do the reconnaissance study with respect to the qualitative and quantitative aspects.

No matter where the need arises from whether it is urge to launch new product or redesign existing or customers demand or study, the most important thing is to know that the need exists. A clever and expert is the designer who uses all the senses and background experience to focus on the need and gather as much information as possible regarding its existence. The person should not miss this need; else the whole process of designing will cease to exist.

System Design


Book: Machine Design by Dr. P. C. Sharma and D. K. Aggarwal

This post is part of the series: System Design Cycle or Machine Design Cycle

Whenever the new product or the machine is to be design there is a cycle of the steps that are followed. The sequence of the events in the machine design cycle or system design cycle have been codified Asimow, who is considered to be the father of system design or machine design. Here they are:

  1. System Design Cycle
  2. System Design Cycle: I) Recognition of a Need
  3. System Design Cycle: II) Specifications and Requirements
  4. System Design: III) Feasibility Study
  5. System Design Cycle: IV) Creative Design Synthesis
  6. System Design Cycle: V) Preliminary Design and Development
  7. System Design Cycle: VI) Detailed Design
  8. System Design Cycle: VII) Prototype Building and Testing
  9. System Design Cycle: VIII) Design for Production and IX) Product Release