By Paul Kumler
An efficient and robust design will be achieved when all the stake holders come together to discuss the requirements and strategize the outcome. For mechanical design, the input of the machinist that will manufacture the part, the buyer who sources the material, the inspector who validates the quality, and the analyst who insures the strength are equally relevant and necessary input for an optimized design. Larger companies employ teams of knowledgeable representatives to provide this input. In my experience, these teams are often referred to as “Integrated Product Teams” (IPTs). But can this work for a small business?
In short, absolutely! Small businesses and concerns can take advantage of the same teaming power by working closely with partnering companies. KTM Solutions, the engineering company I manage works with the buyers, suppliers, our customers internal resources, and (when appropriate) our customers’ customer throughout all phases of the product life cycle. From design, to manufacturing, support, and retirement; we strive to include everyone in the process. By establishing clear decision processes, early stakeholder involvement, and open/free dialogue; a design can be developed that is robust, efficient for manufacturing, and satisfies all requirements.
Paul is the President of KTM Solutions, a design engineering firm helping experience leading structural design and analysis, systems integration, manufacturing support, and airplane service and modification engineering. Paul can be reached at http://www.ktmsolutions.com