DT UNIT 3: Design for the Future



  • Flexibility of design. 
  • Increased quality.
  • 3D models generated, provide manufacturing information.
  • Quickly edited.
  • Used with CAM machine tools, such as CNC lathe.
  • Can zoom in and out. Copy, cut and paste.
  • Send files to other countries to manufacture the product.
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  • Full account of financial transactions of all products.
  • Data inputted into spreadsheets for profit/ loss analysis.
  • Stock control, ensures stock is available for the customer without over-stocking.
  • Real-time stock control.
  • Accurate customer trends.
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Blue/ Green Screen Compositing

  • Background filmed/ created separately.
  • Actor filmed against screen, which is sent through a red filter making it appear black (black shilouette)
  • Layers combined together to create a composite image.
  • Unwanted items such as ropes are removed.
  • Green emits more light. Red isn't used, as it contrasts with human tones.
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Computer Generated Images

  • Wireframe is developed.
  • 3D models animated using 'keyframing'.
  • A skeleton is added for realism.
  • Motion capture could be used for extra realism.
  • Markers added to a performer.
  • Software tracks markers which is relayed to computer software which generates an image.
  • Advantages; limitless possibilities, aesthetics can be changed (costumes, bodysize) whenever needed, characters blend with their enviornments.
  • Disadvantages; expensive hardware and software required. Highly skilled engineers required. Technology becomes obsolete quickly.
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Genetic Engineering


  • Increase growth rate.
  • Reduction of lignin in tree growth.
  • Aids resistance of trees to disease.
  • Paper fibres can be effectively bonded.


  • Long term side-effects unknown.
  • Modified genes escaping into the natural ecosystem.
  • Insects becoming tolerrant towards gene modifications.
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Biodegradable polymer


  • Fully degradeable in sun, moisture and oxygen (over a short period of time).
  • Landfills are reduced.
  • Renewable raw materials used - such as corn.


  • Expensive to market as it isn't widely produced.
  • Some plastics contribute to global warming through CO2 emmissions.

Biopol - british chemical company producing the first fully biodegradable polymer.

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Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM)

  • Uses TQM, JIT to increase flexibiltiy and responsiveness.
  • Reduces costs as fewer materials are stocked.
  • Increase market share through quicker response times.
  • Increased turnover through meeting consumer demands.


  • Poor stock supply could result with inability to meed demands.
  • Rely on suppliers also need to react quickly in changes of demand.
  • Implementing the change can be difficult as QRM changes the roles of employees.
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  • Key people working at each stage of the design, working together.
  • Product is right first time.
  • Reduces development time/ earlier release.


  • Increased market time.
  • Each stage is completed before moving on to the next stage.

Flexible Manufacturing Systems (FMS)

  • Several machines brought together.
  • Produces more than one type of product at the same time.
  • Lower labour costs and increased productivity due to automation.
  • Improved production quality, elimination of human error.
  • Routing - several machines creating the same part. Machine flexibility - change to produce new products.
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Computer Integrated Manufacture (CIM)

  • Design of product using CAD.
  • Planning cost effective workflow.
  • Controlloing operations of machines and equipment needed for production.
  • Ordering stock, materials and invoicing customers.

Product Data Management (PDM)

  • Reduced time to market - data instantly available for teams to review.
  • Improved productivity - changes to data is tracked and managed, reducing time to search for documents and reusing data without repeating work.
  • Improved control - everyone is working from the most current data.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

  • Expensive to install. A wait period is required whilst installing it. Staff require training.
  • Customer credit rating sourced, order history, address, stock controls monitored to ensure request can be fulfilled, all departments can see the information, instantly. 
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Pull/ Perfection Tools

PULL TOOL Kanban – ensuring orders are pulled through to the production system. Simple/ visual signs.

  • Uses cards or containers to indicate when to pull materials, components or products through the production system. 
  • Only produces or delivers when an empty card or container is passed to a workstation. 
  • The production ‘Kanban’ includes details of the operations that need to be carried out at the workstation. 
  • Transportation ‘Kanban’ includes details of where the component, materials or product has come from and going to.

PERFECTION TOOL - Kaizen - continuous improvement, small changes made to the production process. Low cost and regular.

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Flexible Manufacturing Cells

  • Group of machines arranged so product can progress from one station to another without having to wait for a batch to be completed. Production doesn't stop if one cell needs upgrading, which reduces costs for 'stoppages'.
  • Functional Cells - Specific function rather than manufacturing an entire product. Example; a line of CNC lathes.
  • Group Technology - Series of operations for several product lines. High product range/ low volume is ideal.
  • Product Focused Cell Manufacture one type of product. Low product range/ high volume is ideal.

Cells can either be fully automated or use workers (3-12). Materials sit in a queue, once processing begins it moves directly from process to process resulting in a fast throughput.

Advantages; safer working enviornment as human risk is removed. Scale of production links to customer demand. Greater control over production process. Increased reliability and consistency.

Disadvantages; extremely high setup costs due to machines during installation. Negative employment effects as CAM requires less human involment - low worker morale.

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Computer-aided quality control systems (QAC)

  • Achieved using CMM (coordinate-measuring machine).
  • CMM is a mechanical probe used to determine points on a workpiece to accurately measure sizes and positions.
  • Incredibly small tollerance.
  • Laser scanning is rapidly improving. Can also be used to create a 3D image of the part.
  • Barcode systems can be used in a high-speed enviornment to prevent product mixing.
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Automation (handling, storage and retrieval)I

Automated Materials-handling systems

  • Takes materials from one place to another within a factory enviornment via belts or truck.
  • Starts with unloading, storage, machining, assembly, testing, packing and loading back onto transportation.
  • Transportation may be different for each step, unloading may use a fork-lift whilst testing probably won't.
  • Requires minimal manual intervention.

Automated Storage and retrieval - automated robotic system for sorting, storing and retrieving.

  • Transportation to required points controlled by a computer.
  • Materials/ components stored in racking system.
  • Retrieval uses a crane, which places it on an automatic guided vehicle (AGV) such as a fork truck.
  • Products taken to distribution warehouse. 
  • Manual systems 4x slower than automated.
  • Increases efficiency (S&R), reduce labour costs, increase employee technical skills.
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AGV & Impact of Advanced Manufacturing Technologie


  • Towing Vehicles – pull a variety of trailer types.
  • Fork truck – stack products high on racking systems.
  • Used with radio frequency wires buried in the floor or optical sensors in a laser-guided navigation system. 
  • Central computer delivers instructions.

Advanced Manufacturing Technologies on Employment

  • Reduction in workforces.
  • Increased skill of workers, example with CNC Machine Programmers.
  • MYTH - manufacturing jobs are strenuous and low paid. Employers used multi-skilled workforce to service the multi-faceted industry.
  • MYTH - manufacturing is not a creative industry. No, everything that is manufactured, needs to be designed and therefore requires skillful, creative designers which can save the company millions in production costs by eliminating waste, stock surplus and lead times.
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Robots - Automated Manufacturing Systems

  • Used in production & assembly lines in manufacturing cells.
  • Replaces human operators.
  • Japan world leader in robotics technology.
  • Industrial robots are similar to CNC technology but most have many degrees of freedom, in examples such as welding or painting. 
  • Equipped with sensory feedback. Future robots could decide whether or not it is safe to operate around humans.

Advantages; used in hazardous enviornments not suitable for humans, able to carry extremely heavy loads, does not tire from lack of concentration or stress during repetitive tasks and are cost effective as can operate continously with increased productivity.

Disadvantages; lack of impressive sensors unlike humans (touch, hearing, vision, smell). Extremely expensive to to purchase and install in automated manufacturing as well as having a high cost to ensure they safe (collision sensores) and have maintenence issues as different brands use different control systems.

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Expert Systems and Autonomous Robots

Expert Systems

  • Process large amounts of information.
  • Voice recognition could enable designers to communicate with computers to solve problems.
  • Collaborating with desgin or operations teams for complex systems.

Autonomous Robots

  • Robots must comprehend an image by examining pixels.
  • They have the benefit of recognising heat as well as thermal imaging. 
  • Robots have six degrees of freedom whereas a human has over twenty.
  • Teams could contribute in operating a dynamic enviornment with minimal human interference.
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Mass production in consumer society

  • Kids are growing older younger - exploits childrens 'grown-up' behaviour, targeting them with mini-supermarkets and breifcases to emulate the real thing.
  • The culture of 'cool' - childrens need to be accepted by wearing the right brands.
  • Gotta catch 'em all' - urge to collect things, trading cards, new sets released regularly so difficult to collect them all.

Built-in obsolenscence 

  • Wear out of become outdated over a period of time by shortening their lifespan to ensure the consumer will re-purchase the product. 
  • Example; mobile phones - increased technology for photography or media entertainment.

Effect on employment

  • Craftsmen replaced by low-skilled workers. Low-skilled = low wages resulting in poverty and increased pollution.
  • Split into two sections, high-skilled technical roles and low-skilled manual roles. Technical roles are required to setup and maintain machinery.
  • Repetitive tasks can lead to poor job satisfaction and low morale.
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Miniaturisation of products. Smart materials/ appl

  • Advanced Integrated Circuits - microprocessors allow more circuitry to be included on each microchip increasing functionality and power.
  • Advanced Battery Technology - lithium-ion rechargable batteries, lightweight and stores a lot of energy resulting in smaller and thinner fuel cells.
  • Liquid Cyrstal Displays (LCD) - colour screens that are thinner, brighter and require a smaller current of electricity meaning greater energy efficiency in smaller housings.

Smart Glass (windows)

  • Advantages; controls head passing through, provides shade from harmful UV and provides privacy.
  • Disadvantages; expensive to install, requires constant supply of electricity, speed of control and degree of transparency.

Thermochromic pigments

  • Advantages; safety feature, indication of temperature and aesthetic appeal.
  • Disadvantages; limited colour range, not possible for accurate temperature measurements.
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The global marketplace


  • Economic regeneration increased employment in manufacturing industries.
  • Improved living standards.
  • Improved regeneration of local area, transportation and amenities.
  • Widening economic base enable foreign currency to be brought into the country.
  • Enabling tecnology transfering that would be improssible without financial backing from multinationals.


  • Increased pollution as a result of waste and emmissions. Destruction of enviornment, building factories, processing plants and infrastructure (transportation).
  • Lower wages than in developed countries where a minimum wage operates.
  • Promotion restrictions occupied by developed country employees.
  • Lower safety standards, less PPE.
  • Becoming dependant on multinationals which would devistate should they pull production.
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Anthropometrics and ergonomics


  • Matching the product to the user. Increasing comfort and satisfaction. Data about the shape and size of human body is required.
  • Quantitive - predicts physical fit of product to the human body shape, encompassing workload, speed of performance and errors.
  • Qualitative - predicts user comfort and satisfaction.
  • Single design fit for everyone, range that covers all possibilities (clothing), adaptable (adjustable chair) or accessory (car seat for children). 


  • Focusing on 90% of population, leaving out the bottom and top 5% as they are 'extreme'. This allows the greatest possible number of users.
  • Data charts from British Standards Institute. 
  • Data differs from location, average height in Japan is considerably smaller than the UK.
  • Specialist stores deal with the top and bottom 5% as well as disabled people (wheelchair users for example).
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  • Developing new processes is making it difficult to balance the impact on the enviornment.
  • Life-cycle assessment (LCA) assess the impact of a product/ packaging from 'cradle to the grave' through extraction and processing of raw materials, production, distribution and disposal.
  • BSI and ISO 14000 requires continuous improvement in a companies enviornmental performance.

Sustainable Product Design

  • easy to dismantle for repair or re-use extending product life.
  • separation for recycling (milk bottle - lid, bottle, label).
  • few materials as possible.
  • avoid chemicals to keep materials clean.
  • Cyclic - biodegradable (biopol).
  • Solar - renewable energy.
  • Safe - emit unneccesary polutants. 
  • Efficient - 90% less energy.
  • Social - supports basic human rights and natural justice (fairtrade).
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Raw materials, Manufacture and Transporation

  • Issues involving raw materials for products and packaging.
  • Paper and board - trees - deforestation - chemical woodpulp production and bleaching.
  • Metals - steel (iron ore) - energy use, open-cast mining, transportation - vast amount of energy and carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Modifying the design to ensure fewer components are used, reducing materials and assembly time.
  • Different materials to reduce weight or quantity used.
  • Materials that use less ernergy during manufacture and produce less waste.
  • Simpler components easier to machine or mould.

Coca-cola - '202 can' saves £1 per thousand cans. £2.3m per year. Lightweight enabling more to fit in a lorry, reducing distribution journeys.

Haulage companies increase Co2 emissions, contributing to global warming. Electric trains are less polluting. Alternative fuels could decrease emissions. Bio ethanol - reduced emissions, increased power, renewable fuel. Limited availablility in comparsion to petrol, similar price to diesel, limited vehicle. Hydrogen - zero emissions, renewable fuel, very poor availability of fuel and limited availability of kits and vehicles. Electricty - zero emissions, limited range, slow charging.

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Minimising waste production (four R's)

Reduce - consider materials used and designs they use. Eliminate or reduce the packaging requirement of a product - changes in product design, JIT delivery or improved cleanliness. Increases financial benefits (£103k/ year), diverting landfill waste, disposal costs and global warming (42% transportation reduction).

Reuse - minimises extraction and processing of a product. Glass bottles are refillable. If it were to be viable then collection, washing and refilling should cost less than producing a new container.

Recover - recovering energy from waste. For example waste that cannot readily be recycled but can burn cleanly can be incinerated in specialised power stations to produce energy for neighbouring towns/ cities.

Recycle - same materials turned into new products. Corrugated board made from recycled paper. Adding starch is added to provide stiffness and strength. When paper or board is recycled its fibre loses strength, papermaking can be reused about six times. Its not always possible to recover all types of paper, some are put to permanent uses such as books.

Remarkable pencils use plastic cups, saving it from landfil. 20,000 pencils from 20,000 cups.

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Energy Sources

  • Sandals - 'back to nature' using energy from renewable sources.
  • Nukes - 'technology is the way forward' energy from natural resources.

- Wind; installed off-shore minimising visual impact, non-polluting, either large for powering the national grid or small for rural areas. Unsightly, noisy/ vibrations, produces small amounts of electricity in comparsion to size of wind farms.

Water; no fuel required (so no Co2 pollution), initially expensive but pays for itself after a few years, highly efficient with minimum running costs (automation). Flooding areas of land to create resevoir repopulation of local population, disruptive to fish breeding, dam failures could cause massive floods, extremely expensive to build dams and power plants.

- Nuclear; fission reactors in future development, clean energy, uranium widely distributed and abundant fuel. Chernobyl (unpopular), radioactive waste storage, uranium mining damage to the enviornment, accidental or intended sabatage of power stations, devistating effects.

Fossil; lots of energy produced meaning low energy costs, power stations built almost anywhere. Finite resources, generates carbonic acids contributing to global warming, extraction causes damage and pollution to the enviornment.

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Global Sustainable Development

  • Developed countries to reduce finite resources and pollution.

-Kyoto Protocol;

  • Treaty on human activities to global warming, reduction of Co2 emissions by 5% to countries signed up to the agreement.
  • Made in Japan 1997, came into force 2005. 191 countries participating, to responsibilties.
  • Majoirty of greenhouse gases has originated in developed countries.
  • Developing countries (china, india) are exempt as they are not the main contributers. They are currently going through their industrialisation stage.

-Non-Fossil Fuel Obligations - created 1989 when electricity was privatised in the UK.

  • Money raised to support Nuclear Power. But instead was aimed at renewable energy sector.
  • Emissions halved by 2050.
  • All energy suppliers should have at least 10% of renewable sources. Rising to 15% by 2015.
  • UK has largest wind energy production in Europe, 8% generation.
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Carbon Footprint Reduction/ Sustainable Timber

Carbon Footprint Reduction-

  • Measured in units of CO2
  • Manufacturers reducing CF by applying LCA techniques to products, identifying hotspots in production processes (energy consumption/ Co2 emissions). 

Sustainable Timber -

  • Deforistation - removing trees for more land.
  • Enviornmental - air pollution.
  • Climate Change - Trees reduce Co2 which affects global warming.

Improving the aid process to poor communities. Supporting international efforts to control trade in unsustainably produced wood. Moving supply sources in areas of surplus, Brazil, New Zealand. Certification systems that ensure that forests producing goods for the UK are sustainably managed.

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excellent break down of manufacturing systems

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