Mechanical Design Engineering

Business Solutions Through Engineering Design

In how many ways can your company benefit from improvements by design?  This is not a rhetorical question.  Engineering design precipitates so many areas, and a design touch may well increase your profitability.  Perhaps drastically! Now that is business solutions.

Often the word "Design" is interpreted as "Art" or "Style".  We certainly like to put Style with Function, but in context of "Engineering Design" we are talking about much more than the artistic side.  For this article, we are referring to creation of new products as well as the redesign of existing one.

Let's look at 3 industry sectors with some examples of success.  Some of these are not so obvious.  Maybe your great idea will be next.

Service Sector Company Example

Our first case study comes from a solo-preneur in Colorado who works his day job as a janitor.  This gentleman makes a modest living keeping things clean, and he takes great pride in spotless floors.  You could say floors are his passion.  Parts of the job are difficult, and require less than pleasant chemicals to do a good job.

Cleaning Engineering DesignFor one particular job, he found that tedious hand work with a special fabric in a certain orientation drastically decreased the work.  Eureka!  Then, he thought, but how can I make it to work like this all the time?  So, he set his mind to work figuring it out.

Engineering design to the rescue.  A fairly simple tool was designed to hold the materials properly, and easily change them when needed.  With a crude prototype made, the theory was tested.  The next generation prototype brought a better design and his task then became both easier and faster.

There were some tricky things in the design that we did not anticipate.  In particular, we had to get creative to make some of the pieces manufacturable.  But we did!  And, the tool works great.

His next step is bringing the tool to market.

Editor's Note:  I would love to show you this tool, and explain the details, but we always honor intellectual property.  For You and for everyone else.  I'm sorry, you will have to wait for it to hit the market.

The Point:  Just looking at the things you do, and the tricks you use are often inspiration enough.  While some new products are epic, most start as simple ideas that expand with engineering design into new business solutions.

A Construction Sector Example

One company owner turned our engineering design focus toward construction waste.  Because of the nature of his work, waste removal takes a disproportionate amount of time and effort by his team.  They provide a tear-off and replace service, and handling the volume of waste is cumbersome.

What Was WasteOne day he realized that the size and waste volume that they haul is mostly air.  The waste does not stack well, which makes it inefficient.  For them (and all the others in their industry segment) - and that means a lot of trash runs.  Of course, these runs take time, and money.

The solution?  A custom machine.  A pretty simple machine to make the waste comply.  This one thing will help the team save many man-hours with each job.  They also save in time and fuel because they no longer take partly full trucks to the dump.

(Again, I'm sorry about the lack of detail.  Since this is innovation for their competitive advantage, we respect it, and keep it under wraps.  - And yes, the image is misleading, but it conveys the idea - loosely.  Sorry.)

The Point:  Insight often comes just by watching what you spend your time on.  While the new business solutions can save a ton of time and money, it would not happen without a step back to look at the processes.

Engineering Design In A Product Sector

We have many examples in this category with other articles already written.  One example is the Case Study on Bicycle Chainrings which emphasizes the integration of new technology into several new products.  Some of those ideas are from the customer, some from Synthesis engineering design.

CNC PrototypeAnother great example is this Case Study of Custom Trailer Design.  The focus is on meeting some very specific, maybe extreme and conflicting constraints.  Although this trailer looks normal, it has several functions that similar low trailers can't do.  Interestingly, you don't see the uniqueness from the outside.  It is hidden within.

Finally, the Case Study on License Plate Frames where the focus is artistic presentation within many legal and manufacturing constraints.  It is truly where art meets science, and engineering design pulls them together - including optical illusion and tricks for manufacturing.  When it all looks so easy, then we have done all the difficult parts of our job really well.

The Point:  While all these are engineering design improvements, the studies each give a different perspective.  Functional engineering development is the focus with the bicycle components, while artistic presentation within legal limits is key with license plate frames.  Trailers require structural and function engineering design.  Because these are all product sector designs, they have similarities, yet each has a unique focus.

By the way, we have many examples in pictures at our presentation site big slide show.  Please visit.  Oh, it is at a different URL if you are into watching that kind of thing, and the show works best at full screen.

Where Can Your Company Benefit With Engineering Design?

In all of the above examples, the customer benefits with the business solutions that come from design.  For some it is in efficiency for doing their work, while for others the benefit is new things to sell.  In some situations they sought the solution, and in others, the solution came because they took a step back to look at their world.

How about your next step for progress?  If you need some stimulation, we can help with that too.  There is never a shortage of new ideas, but sometimes it takes some stimulation to see them.

Business solutions don't usually happen by accident, so let's take a look.  You may have ideas already - but perhaps don't know how to implement them.  Or, the driver may be one of your employees.  Almost all businesses have something to help them improve, so start looking.  We are ready to help - both to stimulate new ideas, and to assist with the engineering design when the great ideas come.

The Point:  Innovation is a great tool for building a company.  Because we have seen the results, we think it is a Better Strategy .  So, if you are up for success, let's talk about it.  Let's see if your ideas have a clear path to move your business forward.

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