System Design or Machine Design Cycle: Feasibility Study

Feasibility Study

The next important step of the system design or machine design cycle is feasibility study (see fig below). Once the need or the problem has been identified and the specification have been prepared, accepted and submitted for the approval, feasibility study is to be carried on the proposal. The main purpose of the feasibility study is to check the possibility of the success or failure of the proposed project both from technical as well as economic point of view.

Say for instance the specifications have been received by the company from military to manufacture the truck. The company studies the specifications to find out if it is really possible to manufacture this truck considering the technical aspects as well as the economic aspects. If even one of these aspects fail to meet with the company’s expectations the whole project will be abandoned. Thus the feasibility study will help to decide whether to move ahead with the complex and time consuming design procedure or not. The feasibility study helps avoid taking the fruitless steps if the project is not feasible technically or economically.

Questions asked during Feasibility Study

Here are some of the questions that can be asked by the designer when they carry out feasibility study on the proposed project:

1) Is there any natural law that is being defined?

2) Are there any specifications that are beyond ordinary technical achievement at present?

3) Are there any scarce material required for the design and manufacture of the product? The scarce materials are the ones that are not available easily in the market.

4) Will the cost of the end product be too high?

Who does the Feasibility Study?

The person or the group of person who does the feasibility study should be the engineers and have very strong background in designing. They should have extensive knowledge of the engineering sciences and excellent knowledge of the materials and how they are used. The person doing feasibility study should have very good knowledge of all the production methods, and production capacities and limitations of the various machines in the company. The person involved in the feasibility study should have thorough knowledge of the requirements of the sales department.

Usually the persons who will eventually design the product carry out the feasibility study of the project. They are the best people to this exercise since they will be involved at all stages of this product right from designing to manufacturing the product.

If the feasibility study is not done properly, the company may suffer heavy losses and reputation. If the company accepts technically unfeasible product they will eventually not be able to deliver the product after wasting lots of time in designing and manufacturing the product. On the other hand if they accept economically unfeasible product they will eventually manufacture the product but will incur losses. The company may also suffer loss of potential business if the technically feasible project is deemed as unfeasible. Hence the feasibility study is very important.

In many cases, after carrying out the feasibility study the companies propose changes to be made in the specifications and requirements so as to increase the chances of the success of the project. In the figure loop is shown from the feasibility study to the specifications to indicate this point.

System Design Cycle


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