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Mechanical Design Indicators

Mechanical Design Indicators

Mechanical Design Indicators

Do any of you use indicators to measure any aspect of your mechanical designs?  I need some help on this topic and would greatly appreciate your response.  Thanks in advance

RE: Mechanical Design Indicators

Sorry, if I sound like some kind of mafia, but would you get closer to your main question, please?

RE: Mechanical Design Indicators


Your question is very broad, but I'll take a stab at it.  The main Mechanical Design Indicator is answered by the following question:  Does what I've designed do the job?  If the answer is yes, then the indicators are good.  If the answer is no, then the indicators are bad. This simple question has plenty of underlying qualifiers that makes this issue a little more complex, but they all basically boil down to the functionality of your final design.  

There are many paths to solving the same design problem and each path may have different advantages/disadvantages depending on the ground rules you are given up front.  The path your design takes will come down to a balance of satisfing all your up front constraints, within your given budget.  Within these two constraints you are free to let your imagination go wild.  

Personally here is the checklist I run through, when I'm designing capital equipment, to validate my design.

1.  Does my design perform the job it was intended to, at the rate it was intended to, with some factor of safety built in?

2.  Are all appropriate safety considerations designed into the equipment, to prevent accidental injury or death?

3.  Is the mechanical design robust enough to prevent breakage of the equipment under automatic and manual operation.  If no, are there electrical safeties to prevent breakage.

4.  Have I designed a Cadillac, Porsche, Mercedes, when the customer wanted a Yugo?

5.  Do the controls/automation engineers have all the needed sensing/feedback to effectively do their job, and is it guarded against breakage under Rule #3?

6.  Does the machinery need to be expandable and does the original design allow for easy expandability?

I could go on and on, but this list hits my key areas that I look at.  The most critical thing in all these rules is to make sure you understand completely the customers expectations and constraints.



Richard Nornhold, PE

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