Product Design and Development

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Current trends in product design and development

March 10, 2011


According to the American Heritage Dictionary a product is “something produced by human or mechanical effort or by a natural process.”

Product design and development is the process used by a business to create a new product to be sold to a current or prospective customer base. Example include consumer products such as a kitchen appliances and automobiles, mechanical devices used in industry such as machining centers and welding robots or aerospace goods from Piper Cub personal airplanes to the space shuttle. This paper will be limited to the process of the design and development of manufactured goods and will not explore non durable goods such as published periodicals and books or software.

The design portion of the process includes the tasks necessary to create the product’s basic physical features such as the shape and size, the selection of materials to be used, any engineering work required to create any mechanical working parts and the manufacturing process to produce the end product. The development of the product relates to the process of developing new markets or entry into existing markets. This includes identifying the prospective market, modifying the product to meet the needs and expectations of the market and testing the functionality of the product to meet or exceed the customers’ requirements.

Reasons for new products

New product ideas are the result of real or perceived market demand. There would be no reason to go through the cost and effort to design and develop a product if there were no customers to buy it. There are two ways to introduce products into the marketplace:

Market Push: A strategy is used when a company perceives a market need and pushes a product out into the market to meet that perceived need.

Technology Pull: A concept where the marketplace is demanding a product to meet a new technological advancement....

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