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Establishing Functional Requirements And Target Specifications: A Key Component Of Product Development Projects

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Capstone Design III

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

21

Page Numbers

12.689.1 - 12.689.21

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/2096

Download Count

1923

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Paper Authors

biography

Karim Muci-Küchler South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

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Karim Muci-Küchler is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. Before joining SDSM&T, he was an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Detroit Mercy. He received his Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics from Iowa State University in 1992. His main interest areas include Computational Mechanics, Solid Mechanics, and Product Design and Development. He has taught several different courses at the undergraduate and graduate level, has over 25 technical publications, is co-author of one book, and has done consulting for industry in Mexico and the US. He can be reached at Karim.Muci@sdsmt.edu.

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biography

Jonathan Weaver University of Detroit Mercy

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Jonathan Weaver is an Associate professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM). He received his BSME from Virginia Tech in 1986, his MSME and PhD in ME from RPI in 1990 and 1993, respectively. He has several years of industry experience and regularly consults with an automaker on projects related to CAD, DOE, and product development. He can be reached at weaverjm@udmercy.edu.

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Daniel Dolan South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

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Dan Dolan joined the faculty of the SDSM&T in 1981 after completing a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1977 and a Humboldt Fellowship in Germany in 1981. He has been involved in teaching for almost 25 years. He has taught courses in thermodynamics, dynamics, controls, manufacturing, IC engines and vehicle dynamics. He has worked in industry on engine development and manufacturing control system development. He has coauthored over 25 technical papers and is co-inventor on six patents.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Establishing Functional Requirements and Target Specifications: A Key Component of Product Development Projects

Abstract

Two very important steps in the product development process are identifying customer needs and establishing functional requirements and target specifications for the product. Unfortunately, it is quite common in academic design projects to begin a project by giving to the students most of the functional requirements and target specifications for the product that they have to develop. Under that framework, the students are not actively involved in two key aspects of “real world” product development, namely identifying the needs of the customers and translating those needs into functional requirements and target specifications. If the customer requirements are not fully understood and adequately translated into required functions and quantifiable metrics and their corresponding target values, it is very unlikely that a successful product design will result from the development effort.

Setting target specifications is a challenging process and even experienced engineers sometimes have difficulties selecting metrics that adequately capture how well a particular customer need is met. Consequently, it is very important that students participating in design projects in product development courses learn structured methodologies to perform those tasks. To explore the benefits of such an approach, a formal process to establish functional requirements and target specifications for a product was introduced into a sophomore product development course, a senior capstone design course sequence, and a graduate level course in product development. In all cases, the students started the task of setting functional requirements and target specifications for the product after following a structured methodology to identify the customer needs. In this paper, the process followed, an assessment of the results obtained and suggestions for future improvement are discussed presenting examples taken from different projects carried out by students.

Introduction

At the present time many undergraduate engineering programs in the US include one or more design courses aimed at better preparing students for the “real world” practice of the profession. In addition to the traditional Senior Design Project or Capstone-type courses that students must take during their last year, now freshman, sophomore and/or junior level design courses are also being incorporated into the curricula (see for example Starkey et al.1, Newman and Amir2, Wood et al.3, and Muci-Küchler et al.4). It has been recognized that, in general, engineering design involves more than applying sound technical knowledge to solve an “open-ended problem.” It typically encompasses all the tasks that must be performed to develop technical products and takes place in the framework of working in teams (most often multidisciplinary) following a structured approach. Although many faculty members teaching design courses have adopted a project-based learning strategy that fits this product development scenario (see for example Dutson et al.5, Catalano et al.6, and Muci-Küchler and Weaver7), in most cases not enough emphasis has been given to the activities of identifying the needs of the customers and other

Muci-Küchler, K., & Weaver, J., & Dolan, D. (2007, June), Establishing Functional Requirements And Target Specifications: A Key Component Of Product Development Projects Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2096

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