C3 Use of product analysis and disassembly procedures

Posted: October 7, 2010 in CORE

Initial knowledge 1

Current working level 2.5

When I think of product analysis I think of perhaps its structural design,  is it going to function as I have wished it to?  Perhaps analyzing faults within the product in order to make adjustments to improve upon the original idea.  I think using models in this instance is absolutely vital.  You can get to grips and analyse how the product is actually going to come together, whether it is going to be practical.  You can see in no uncertain terms what is working and what is not.  You are allowed to re-shape and re-size certain aspects that in effect looked good on paper, but in turn did not work out 3 dimensionally.  By analyzing the product, you can aid in its development, in its improvement.

As far as disassembly of a product goes, I believe it to be not only its actual physical disassembly at the end of its life, but what happens to the product after it has finished its use.   For example the recycling of a plastic bottle, how much does it cost to do? What effect does it have on the environment?  Legally what is required by the government?  This is something I will have to look into in further projects.

The brief for my plate rack design project was that I wanted to create something original that would fit into a contemporary kitchen.  So I conducted product analysis on existing ideas and also the items that featured in a current contemporary kitchen.  This way I was able to see the very basic shapes that were available but it also gave me detail of why these shapes were used.  The standardized shape had been created for practical purposes so  I was given an indication of what was working well within the design.  By analysing the strengths and weaknesses of the various ideas I was able to use aspects that would be suitable for my design but put a contemporary twist on it to help it stand out from competition but still be practical.  By analysing existing products in contemporary kitchens I was able to see what materials were used and their minimilistic style and could create a design to compliment these items.

I am writing this post reflectively and actually thinking back I am not sure I emphasised the product analysis enough in my research.  I did indicate certain areas of why I had chosen to do aspects of designs, but in my future projects I think I could make a bigger statement of intent by directly analysing individual products and identifying clearly the points which points could be improved upon and relate them to my individual designs.  I do try to do it constantly but it does emphasise the importance of annotating all work so that the reader can understand the thought process I am undertaking throughout the projects development.

In reality the plate rack was a fairly simple product.  Disassembly wise it was not made up of many components and thus would have been a simple process of taking the different parts apart and recycling them if necessary.  Where I feel I should have used product analysis and its dissasembly procedure to a greater extent was for my ambiance light.  I researched existing ideas and the different mood lights but I did not really take into consideration what was actually going on within the lights themselves.  Had I analysed deeper the workings of the lights and the components they featured I would have got a more accurate understanding of what I would need to consider when manufacturing my own light.  With more detailed analysis I could have seen how many leds would be needed to make an efficient light, what sort of power they will be using, and basically a better understanding of the electrical process that makes the light switch on.  In reflection I did not use a critical enough analysis of the products available and their disassembly and had I have chosen to do so I think it is obvious that I would have had more success with my lamp.

This is an important lesson learnt and in future projects I fully intend on using a more thorough analytical view and actually delve deeper into breaking down existing and my own products to get a better understanding of the individual components that would make the product a success.  By disassembling a product it may give me a clearer knowledge of how it works and what areas I feel work well that I could include or what areas I feel could be improved upon to make a viable solution.

Going back to electronics I have chosen to gain additional competence in digital electronics.  By initially finding out about what digital electronics is and what it looks like I have been able to understand the workings and layouts of various products available.  I have almost dissassembled digital electronics as a subject by breaking it down into sections, gaining a better understanding of its principals before applying them to my own circuits.  I have found this process rewarding as by stripping it back to basics I have managed to develop a clearer understanding of the subject matter as a whole and no longer find it as daunting as I had a good grasp of the basics before moving into more complex notions.  There was an element of just getting on with it for the ambiance light but  If I had used this method for the project I think I could have benefitted from diassembling the process of creating light, analysed it, considered it and come up with a better solution in my final idea.  Quite simply more clynical analysis originally would have allowed an understanding to find a more suitable solution.

With the introduction of CAD modelling as well as the inclusion of exploded diagrams in ED320  I have been able to analyse the way my product is assembled and therefore have a clearer idea of its diassembly procedures also.

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