The engineering process is the set of steps that engineers must follow to develop and create products. There are many different models of the engineering process, with fewer or additional steps. However, they all follow a common pattern. In this article, we will look at a nine-step engineering design process that engineers employ to solve specific issues.
The first step in the engineering design process is to define the problem. This is an essential step because a failure to clearly and accurately define the issue could result in delays at a later time in the design process. Often, the solution to a problem will naturally arise in this stage. For example, when students were asked to design a way to hang their school lunch hooks to the bottom of their desks they came up with a simple solution of attaching a hook to bottom of the desk.
The next step is to conduct a requirements analysis in order to determine the exact requirements of the customer and the resources available. This helps you come up with a concrete set of project requirements and constraints. For example If a client requires their new product to hold 20 pounds then the engineer will figure out how much weight the system can support and what the size of the hook should be so that it is able to hold all of the students’ full lunches.
The next phase, referred to as design synthesis or design planning is when the details are defined and the design for the final product is designed. This phase involves creating the inputs and outputs of the various modules that make up the system, as well as their interconnections. Tools used during this phase include Gantt and Pert charts, resource loading spreadsheets, drawings, sketches and prototype models.