IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN

Designing for Competitive Advantage

Committee on Engineering Design Theory and Methodology

Manufacturing Studies Board

Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1991



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IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN: Designing for Competitive Advantage IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN Designing for Competitive Advantage Committee on Engineering Design Theory and Methodology Manufacturing Studies Board Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1991

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IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN: Designing for Competitive Advantage NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Samuel O. Thier is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. This study was supported by Contract No. DMC-8817926 between the National Science Foundation and the National Academy of Sciences. Library of Congress Card Catalog No. 91-60349 ISBN 0-309-04478-2 A limited number of copies are available from: Manufacturing Studies Board National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue, Room HA270 Washington, D.C. 20418 Additional copies are available for sale from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue Washington, D.C. 20418 S-323 Printed in the United States of America First Printing , February 1991 Second Printing , January 1992 Third Printing , May 1992

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IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN: Designing for Competitive Advantage COMMITTEE ON ENGINEERING DESIGN THEORY AND METHODOLOGY CHARLES W. HOOVER, Co-Chairman, Professor, Department of Industrial and Mechanical Engineering, Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, New York J. B. JONES, Co-Chairman, Randolph Professor Emeritus, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg H. BARRINGTON BEBB, Vice President, Systems Architecture, Xerox Corporation, Webster, New York ROBERT DAVIS, Professorand Department Head, Industrial Engineering Department, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina JOHN R. DIXON, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Amherst STEVEN J. FENVES, Professor of Civil Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania KENNETH H. HUEBNER, Manager, Computer-Aided Engineering Department, Ford Motor Company, Dearborn, Michigan HUGH R. MacKENZIE, Vice President of Engineering, Polaroid Corporation, Cambridge, Massachusetts STEPHEN H. MASLEN, Associate Director (retired), Information Technology, Martin Marietta Laboratories, Towson, Maryland GALE E. NEVILL, Jr., Professorand Graduate Coordinator, Department of Aerospace Engineering, Mechanics, and Engineering Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville FRIEDRICH PRINZ, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania WARREN P. SEERING, Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge JAY M. TENENBAUM, Schlumberger Fellowand Professor of Computer Science, Stanford University, Stanford, California GARRETT J. THRASHER, Senior Engineering Associate, Linde Division, Union Carbide Industrial Gases, Inc., Tonawanda, New York DANIEL E. WHITNEY, Section Leader, Robotics and Assembly Division, Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts PETER M. WILL, Director, Manufacturing Research Center, Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, Palo Alto, California

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IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN: Designing for Competitive Advantage Staff PAUL J. SHAWCROSS, Staff Officer, Committee on Engineering Design Theory and Methodology KAREN L. MILLAN, Staff Assistant, Committee on Engineering Design Theory and Methodology LUCY V. FUSCO, Staff Assistant, Committee on Engineering Design Theory and Methodology JANICE E. GREENE, Senior Staff Officer, Manufacturing Studies Board THEODORE W. JONES, Research Associate KERSTIN B. POLLACK, Deputy Director, Manufacturing Studies Board

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IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN: Designing for Competitive Advantage MANUFACTURING STUDIES BOARD JAMES F. LARDNER, Chairman, Vice President (retired), Component Group, Deere & Company MATTHEW O. DIGGS, Jr., Chairman, The Diggs Group CHARLES P. FLETCHER, Vice President of Engineering, Aluminum Company of America DAVID A. GARVIN, Professor, Business Administration, Harvard Business School, Harvard University HEINZ K. FRIDRICH, Vice President of Manufacturing, IBM Corporation LEONARD A. HARVEY, Secretary of Commerce, Labor, and Environmental Resources, State of West Virginia (retired) CHARLES W. HOOVER, JR., Professor, Department of Industrial and Mechanical Engineering, Polytechnic University, Brooklyn EDWARD E. LAWLER, III, Director, Center for Effective Organizations, University of Southern California JOEL MOSES, Dean of Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology LAURENCE C. SEIFERT, Vice President, Communications and Computer Product Sourcing and Manufacturing, AT &T JOHN M. STEWART, Director, McKinsey and Company, Inc. WILLIAM J. USERY, Jr., President, Bill Usery Associates, Inc. HERBERT B. VOELCKER, Charles Lake Professor of Engineering, Sibley School of Mechanical Engineering, Cornell University Staff VERNA J. BOWEN, Staff Assistant LUCY V. FUSCO, Staff Assistant GAIL GREENBERG, Staff Assistant THEODORE W. JONES, Research Associate THOMAS C. MAHONEY, Acting Director KERSTIN B. POLLACK, Deputy Director,and Director of New Program Development MICHAEL WITMORE, Research Assistant

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IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN: Designing for Competitive Advantage Preface Effective design and manufacturing, both necessary to produce high-quality products, are closely related. However, effective design is a prerequisite for effective manufacturing; quality cannot be manufactured or tested into a product, it must be designed in. The United States needs to sharpen its understanding of engineering design theory if it is to realize the competitive advantages of superior engineering design. Significant improvement of design practice requires increased knowledge of the fundamentals of design and increased readiness of firms to adopt new methods. Developing and teaching a coherent body of engineering design principles in this area could help accelerate the changes necessary to maintain the competitiveness of future U.S. manufacturing. This report presents the findings and recommendations of the Committee on Engineering Design Theory and Methodology, formed by the Manufacturing Studies Board of the National Research Council at the request of the National Science Foundation. The scope of the committee's efforts was to: Determine the importance of engineering design to U.S. industry's competitiveness in world markets; Articulate the means by which the practice of engineering design in the United States can be improved; Propose actions to improve undergraduate and graduate education in engineering design; Propose a national effort to improve the practice of engineering design through research and development; and Recommend to government, industry, and academe mechanisms for improving engineering design practice, education, and research.

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IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN: Designing for Competitive Advantage The committee, consisting of 16 experts in the primary fields of engineering design—education, practice, management, and research—worked in part as three subcommittees to explore the status of engineering design practice, education, and research in the United States. The committee has based this report on its discussions and analysis of the current environment for engineering design; as such, it reflects the consensus of the committee on the implications of engineering design in the United States. This report was enabled by many people directly and indirectly at work on engineering design. The study was conceived and planned by John Dixon and Michael Wozny of the NSF and George Kuper and Kerstin Pollack of the NRC. Site visits to the following companies contributed to a greater understanding of issues in the practice of design: American Precision Industries, AT&T Bell Laboratories, Cooper Industries, Ford Motor Company, General Electric Company, Hewlett-Packard, and Polaroid. Many engineering deans and design faculty contributed by describing their current engineering design research, industrial applications thereof, predicted developments, and potential barriers. The contributions to the committee's deliberations of Karl Ulrich, assistant professor, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, deserve special attention. Main staff support was ably provided by Paul Shawcross, with Janice Greene and Kerstin Pollack providing key help and Lucy Fusco playing a strong supporting role. Theodore Jones assembled the report, and Kenneth Reese edited it. Charles W. Hoover and J. B. Jones Co-Chairmen, Committee on Engineering Design Theory and Methodology

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IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN: Designing for Competitive Advantage Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1  1   INTRODUCTION   5      The Central Role of Engineering Design,   6      The Nature of Engineering Design,   10      The Consequences of Better Design Practice, Education, and Research,   13  2   DESIGNING FOR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE   15      Corporate Commitment and Action,   15      The Product Realization Process,   17      Important Contemporary Design Practices,   19      Understanding, Motivating, and Supporting the Designer,   29  3   IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN EDUCATION   35      The Goals of Engineering Design Education,   36      The Status of Engineering Design Education,   38      Improving Design Education,   44  4   A NATIONAL ENGINEERING DESIGN RESEARCH AGENDA   50      The Need for Basic Research in Engineering Design,   50      A Topical Research Agenda,   52      Dissemination of Research Results to Industry,   63      A National Consortium for Engineering Design,   64

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IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN: Designing for Competitive Advantage  5   RECOMMENDATIONS   67      Improving Design Practice,   68      Improving Engineering Education,   68      Improving Engineering Design Research,   71     APPENDIXES:    A.   EXAMPLES OF PRODUCT REALIZATION PROCESSES   75      Polaroid's PRP,   75      Hewlett-Packard's PRP,   76  B.   COURSE OUTLINE FOR CONTEMPORARY ENGINEERING   78     GLOSSARY   81     BIBLIOGRAPHY   85     NOTES   94     INDEX   103

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IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN: Designing for Competitive Advantage IMPROVING ENGINEERING DESIGN

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