1 Technical principles

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1) Design and technology and our world

The impact of new and emerging technologies on industry and enterprise:

  • The us of electricity to power machinery led to products being mass produced on assembly lines.
  • Modern factories increasingly use automated production. Robots are now being used instead of humans. 

Mass produced: hundreds of thousands of identical productd manufactured on a production line. 

Assembly line: a line of equipment/machinery manned by workers who gradually assemble a                                  product as it passes along the line. 

Automated production: the use of computer-controlled equipment or machinery in                                                                 manufacturing.

  Self-aware assembly lines promise s... - Information Centre ...

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2) Market pull and technology push

  • Some products are developed from market research, which uncovers a need for a new product or demand for an existing product. This is referred to as market pull. 
  • Technological developments in materials, components or manufacturing methods leads to the development of new or improved products. This is referred to as technology push. For example:  
    • many touch screen devices only exist because of the development of material graphene. 
    • the technology now exists to weave conductive threads into fabric for clothing, which when worn will interact directly with the wearer. 

Market pull: a new product is developed in response to a demand in the market users.

Technology push: products developed as a result of new technology.

Condusctive: the ability to transmit heat or electrucity.

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3) Product life cycle

  • A product's life cycle is a marketing strategy that looks at the four main stages that a product goes through. 

Introduction: Following an advertising campaign, the new product is introduced to the market                               place.

Growth: Sales will grow as consumers become aware of the product and buy it.

Maturity: Sales are at their peak with campaigns hoping to achieve maximum sales for the                             product. 

Decline: Sales begin to fall as most interested consumers now own the product or a new                               product has replaced it. 

  • The length of a product's lifestyle will depend on the product: 
    •  classic fashion styles maintain good sales for many years, while product fad products become popular very quickly but decline just as quickly as new styles are introduced. 
    • examles of recent fad products include loom bands and fidget spinners. 
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4) People, culture and society

Global production and its effect on people and culture:

  • Development in transport makes it easier for manufacteres to ship materials, components and products all over the world
  • Manufacturing costs can be reduced through automation.
  • Development in mobile technology and the internet make it easier to communicate with people all over the world. 

There are also downsides to this global society whcich directly affect workers:

  • Importing cheap products overseas and not buying locally-sourced proucts can lead to job losses in our own society.
  • The use of mobile technology can make people feel isolated as the opportunities to interact with people can become limited. 
  • The use of automation in manufacturing leads to job losses. Fewer people are needed in factories. 
  • Workers overseas are often paid less wages in effort to keep costs down and maximise profit for the manufacturer. 
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5) Legislation and consumer rights act

  • The Consumer Rights Act protects consumers when goods purchased or services are not as expected. This is when the customer becomes mislead. 
  • The Law states that all goods should be as described or seen when purchased and be fit for purpose. 
  • The Act protects consumers against faulty or counterfeit goods, and poor sevice or problems with the making of the product.
  • Consumers can request a refund, repair or replacement when goods purchased do not meet certain standards: 
    • the prodcut should function as intended
    • the product should be of satisfactuary quality 
    • the product should be as described at the time of purchase

Counterfeit: an immitation of something, sold with the intent of defraud.

Compensation: payment given to someone as a result of loss. 

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6) Moral and ethical factors

  • global market allows unrestricted trade.
  • There is no obligation on companies to improve the lives of their workers. Some companies put profit above things such as their workers low wages and their poor working conditions. 
  • Some companies follow a more ethical approach to trade. They focus on goods and services that are beneficial to consumers, they show that they are socially responsible by treating their workers fairly with acceptable rates of pay and good working conditions, and they support environmental causes. 
  • Ethical traders are open and transparent about costs.
  • Some companies choose not to disclose their costs because this could reveal poor wages or working conditions if profits are revealed and considered high. 
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7) Sustainability and the environment

  • Designers, manufacturers and consumers are becomming increasingly aware of the negitive impacts new technologies and the development and disposal of products on the environment. 
  • It is important to look at ways of reducing our environmental impact. 
  • Development in renewable energy allows us to reduce our reliance on finite fossil fuels such as coal or oil. 
  • Many plastics are difficult to recycle. New technology is being developed that will allow these products to be broken down more effectively and safely, allowing them to be recycled. 

Finite fossil fuels: a limited amount of natural resources that cannot be replaced.    

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8) Production techniques and systems

Computer Aided Design(CAD)

  • All aspects of developing design ideas through to 3D models can be done on the computer. 
  • CAD packages allow for changes to be made and errors to be rectified. 
  • CAD models allow designers and manufacturers to stimulate how products will look and perform in different situations.
  • Emerging cloud-based technology allows for collabritive work designers can shape products via the internet. THis collaborative can be on a global scale, which cuts the need for travel.
  •  Generative design is a design development that makes use of mathematical algorithms basd on set parameters or design requirements. 
  • Disadvantages of CAD include high initial set-up costs, including training employees, and the possibility of losing work through computer failure or virus. 

Cloud-based technology: technology that allows designers to share content via the internet.

Generative design: a computer-based iterative design process that generates a number of                                         possibilities that meet certain constraints, including potential designs that                                     would not previously have been thought of. 

Algorithms: a logical computer-based procedure for solving a problem. 

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9) Computer aided manufacture

CAM

  • CAM machinery can manufacture products and components directly from CAD drawings.
  • CAM machines are often used when high volumes of identical products of consistent high quality are needed. 
  • Initial set up costs can be high, but they are considered more efficient in the long term as they can run for long periods without breaks.
  • Disadvantages of CAM include high set up costs, impact on workforce with loss of employment, technological faliure and on-going maintenance costs. 

Additive manufacture: computer controlled manufacture of a 3D object by adding materials together layer by layer. 

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10) Life-cycle analysis

  • A life-cycle analysis looks at the environmental impact of a product throuought its entire life: from the source of materials, through its useful life to the final disposal and potential rebirth as a new product.
  • The following factors should be considered: 
    • source of raw material
    • material processing 
    • manufacturing
    • use
    • end of life 
    • transportation
    • and the energy used at different points in the products lifestyle

Life-cycle analysis: an assessment of a product's environmental impact during its entire life.

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11) Fairtrade

  • Fairtrade sets up partnership schemes between producers, businesses and consumers.
  • By giving workers a share of the profits or fairer wages, the lives of the workes will be improved and it will help them to combat poverty. 
  • Conditions for workers must be of satasfactury standard no one is exploited and workers rights are protected.

Exploit: unfairly taken advantage of.

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12) Carbon footprint

  • Carbon footprint is the measure of the total ammount of greenhouse gases produced as a result of human activity, which includes the manufacturing of the products. 
  • Greeenhouse gases are measured in units of carbon dioxide (CO2) 
  • Designers can reduce the carbon footprint by adopting more sustainable approches to design, for example, sourcing locally prodcued materials to cut down the transportation of raw materials. 

Carbon footprint: the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of human activity.

Global warming: a rise in temperature of the Earth's atmosphere caused by gases and pollution. 

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13) Ecological footprint

  • Ecological footprint is a measure of the impact human activity has on the environment. 
  • The products and clothes we use, the food we eat, the waste we generate and the way we live all contribute to our ecological footprint. 
  • Humanity's ecological footprint is currently 1.7Earth's.
  • If we continue to use up the worlds natural resources quicker than nature can replace them, we will create an ecological defict.

Ecological defict: a measure which shows that more natural resources are being used than nature can replace them. 

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14) Renewable Energy

Advanatges and disadvantages of renewable energy sources 

  • Renewable sources are non-polluting and considered better for the environment. 
  • Biomass fuels produce CO2 as they combust, trees are replanted which absorb CO2 as they grow. This is known as carbon neutral.
  • Initial start up costs for things like wind turbines is expensive but it produces free energy.
  • Wind and solar panels depend on weather conditions. And some people may not like the look of them.
  • In order to build dams used to generate hydroelectric power, valleys in rural areas are flooded. This can damage natural haitats.
  • Geothermal energy units are expensive and rely on the underground rocks being near the surface.

Motor Vehcles

  •  Electric cars are becomming more popular as they are better for the environment and need to be plugged in to charge. 
  • Electric cars do not produce emissons, they are very efficient.
  • Some kinetic energy is recovered when the driver uses the brakes, this energy can then be storede in the battery.  
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