Loughborough University
Thesis-2012-Sethebe.pdf (8.51 MB)

The development of product design guidelines based on a new conceptual framework

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posted on 2012-12-12, 14:57 authored by Keaboka M. Sethebe
The work described provides the development, implementation and evaluation of engineering product design guidelines suitable for engineering product designers. The motivation arises from collaborative efforts that continue to be made by the Least Economically Developed Countries (LDC) and the Most Economically Developed Countries (MDC) towards the development of the engineering design field. It is argued here that product design guidelines which are derived from existing product design methods enhance the capability of engineering designers to shorten time to market, deal adequately with product design constraints and boost supply chains. The sample for the proposed study is comprised of companies in Botswana (a least economically developed country) and the United Kingdom (a most economically developed country). The research has been conducted using a mixed qualitative research approach comprised of aspects from the framework method, cluster analysis and Kolb's model. The findings have identified five themes central to the product design process which are incorporated into the engineering product design guidelines. Case study work was conducted to validate the approach. The following claims are made for contributions to knowledge: 1. A conceptual framework which is a graphical co-ordinate system of engineering and management techniques required by nine engineering product design methods. The conceptual framework is arranged according to two orthogonal axes that describe the structure of the product design process and incorporate the need function form structure, the divergent convergent structure, the product design drivers, product realisation process and product development lifecycles. 2. The product design method notation which is a register of the expressions derived from the conceptual framework and is used to communicate and aid in the selection of a group of techniques being implemented, or intended for implementation by design teams; and 3. The configuration scheme which provides a clear link between components, subassemblies, products, projects, programmes and policies. The critical point put forward by this work is that the conceptual framework is only comprehensible today because the engineering product design methods in the public domain have imparted knowledge about the functions of physical products (described here as part of the need function form structure) at the expense of human needs and the interactive forms of human responses to physical products. The contributions of this research provide a holistic and coherent means of integrating design methodologies for the benefit of design teams in Botswana. The approach is, however, universal and may also be beneficial for design projects in the most economically developed countries.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


© Keaboka Motona Sethebe

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.

EThOS Persistent ID



  • en