The engineering process is a series of steps that engineers have to go through to create and construct the product. There are many different versions of engineering processes, with fewer or additional steps. However they all follow a similar pattern. In this article, we’ll examine a nine-step engineering design process that engineers employ to solve specific problems.
The first step of the engineering design process is the definition of the issue. This is an essential step as failing to fully and precisely define the problem could result in delays later on in the design cycle. Most often, the solution to a particular problem will naturally arise in this stage. For instance, when students were asked to come up with a solution to hold their school lunch hooks on the bottom of their desks, they came up with an easy solution of attaching a hook to the bottom of the desk.
The next step is to perform a requirements analysis in order to determine the specifics of the customer’s needs and the resources available. This allows you to come up with a concrete set of project requirements and limitations. If a customer requires a product that can hold 20 pounds the engineer will determine the maximum weight that the system can support and the size of the hook to ensure it can hold the full lunches for all the students.
The next step is design synthesis or design planning, and is where the specifics are formulated and a precise design of the product is made. This involves the creation of interconnections, outputs and inputs of the various modules that make up the system in general. Tools used in this phase include Gantt and Pert charts, resource loading spreadsheets sketches, drawings, and prototype models.