The objective of this project was to take the hockey stick Car Rack idea and turn it into a viable product through product and process development. Through sound engineering and analysis of product design principles, Blue Ribbon Consulting was able to create a product that met its customer needs, but also retained its profitability. Every step of the development process was thoroughly scrutinized until the product met the goals of that stage. This led to three generated concepts, but ultimately one design selected. This design was then optimized for the original needs of the project as well as robustness, quality, and manufacturability. The Hockey Stick Car Rack is now a great product ready to reap the benefits of an open market.
Figure 2: House of Quality
In designing the Hockey Stick Car Rack, three concepts were generated. Each concept was very different than the other and provided unique advantages and disadvantages. Based on our customer needs survey, a ranking was established for each need and compared to the concepts. The best concept based on customer needs and the needs of the company was then selected. Figure 2 shows the House of Quality generated as well as the rankings that each concept received. Concept three was ultimately chosen.
Figure 3 shows that concept three contained most features that were advantageous to BRC’s market plan. It received high rankings both in “securing the sticks” and “easy and convenient to use,” which were both one of the most important customer needs.
Product design process There are various product design processes and they are all focused on different aspects. The process shown below is "The Seven Universal Stages of Creative Problem-Solving," outlined by Don Koberg and Jim Bagnell. It helps designers formulate their product from ideas. This process is usually completed by a group of people, designers or field experts in the product they are ...
Figure 3: Weighted Concept Screening
Figure 4, Figure 5, and Figure 6 show each of the three concepts that were generated by BRC for this project. At this stage in the process, the designs had advantages, but still needed optimization.
Figure 4: Concept #1 – Rack attached to trailer hitch
Figure 5: Concept #2 – Secured box that attaches to trailer hitch
Figure 6: Concept #3 – Clamping device that attaches to luggage rack on roof
Now that a concept was selected, the optimization process needed to occur. Instead of a spring loaded device with lots of rotating and fragile parts, a hinge was attached to one end of the rack. This allowed the upper piece to rotate about the hinge and allow for sticks to be placed in the center grooves, and then latched down into place when they were secure. The latch mechanism provides a cheaper and more robust solution to the original spring loaded concept. A small plastic latch and button release was much cheaper to manufacture and assemble than a complicated spring loaded steel link mechanism.
The final design turned out to be very cheap to produce, which coupled with our customer’s original survey of willingness to pay around $150-$200 provided a lucrative market. The design features grooves in the lower rack piece that allow for stick of various sizes to be secured down and hinders movement during trips. A foam lining attached to the upper piece provides a flexible, yet sturdy material to handle sticks of all widths. The clamps on the bottom allow the rack be attached to any vehicle with a luggage rack. They feature axel wrench screws that can be adjusted for any size luggage rack. Also, the final design is aerodynamically shaped and lightweight (eight pounds each) as to minimally hinder gas mileage and performance of the vehicle. The rack comes pre-assembled and only needs the user to secure it to their luggage rack, which takes care of the customer need of “ease of use” and “easy to install.” Pictured below, in Figure 7 and Figure 8, are the final designs modeled in CAD software.
Figure 7: Final Design, unlatched
In this module you will have an opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of cost terms and their application in the aviation industry. For this Case Study complete the four requirements below: 1. ABC Airlines has determined both the fixed and variable costs per flying hour associated with flying each of the 10 different types of aircraft in their fleet. How might this type of information be ...
Figure 8: Final Design, latched
Product Cost Analysis
As explained earlier, the cost to produce a full assembly was surprisingly inexpensive. This product can be mass produced using molding and forming techniques commonly found in the manufacturing industry. The obvious benefits of mass producing are lower costs of production, less labor expense, high volume, and small lead times. This allows BRC to meet customer demand as it is projected to sell around twenty-thousand units in its first year of production, and increase from there. Figure 9 shows the cost to produce one Hockey Stick Car Rack. As seen by this table, the cost to produce one unit is $97.50 (not including labor).
This is very cheap when it is expected to have a retail price of $180. Assuming two experienced operators can handle the various machines from a central control station in the plant, a $27 hourly wage for each of the two employees is added to the cost of production, which brings the total cost to produce one unit to $124.
Figure 9: Product Cost Analysis
A lot of assumptions were made in assessing the financial outlook for three years of operation. First the development costs were assumed to be about fifty-thousand dollars. This was selected based on the simplicity of the product as well as the many experienced and well trained engineers that BRC employs. Also, testing was assumed to be around eighty-thousand dollars based on the same circumstances mentioned above. Tooling and ramp-up costs were selected to be much higher based on the fact that the operation will need a high overhead due to the complex machinery and controls that goes into the plant layout. A complicated manufacturing process will allow for continued production of the racks using automation and high-speed machinery. This cost was assumed to be at least five-hundred thousand dollars. Next, USA Hockey magazine was selected to be BRC’s marketing outlet. It holds around two-hundred thousand subscribers as well as many potential buyers of our hockey rack. The cost to advertise in this magazine is around forty-eight hundred dollars a year. Using these assumptions, year one of production would require a cost of $634800. This is reasonable based on all the planning and testing that occurs during product development.
In 1996 Kotsis was then undertook a month of work experience for a graphic design company in the Sydney CBD and in 1997 completed another month of work experience for Design Resource’s design consultancy in Crows Nest. Finally in 1998 Kotsis was offered a position in Design Resources and is still currently working there. Designer’s Work Kotsis’ profession requires him to work in partnership with ...
Year two and three incorporate actual production of the product and revenue streaming in. It was assumed that BRC would acquire ten percent of USA Hockey’s subscribers to buy the rack. This would mean twenty-thousand units sold in year two, with and assumed twelve percent of subscribers in year three and twenty-four thousand units sold in year three. Due to the cheap manufacturing costs and high retail price, BRC would start profiting on the product right away with a positive cash flow of $1,115,200 in year two and $1,339,200 in year three. This is very optimistic thinking, but BRC’s reputation for high quality products and service back up our claim. A net present value of $1,685,723 was calculated which proves it is a very lucrative project. Table 1 shows the projected financial figures of the first three years of operation.
Table 1: Three Year Financial Analysis
Development of the hockey stick car rack product relies primarily on the initial development of a prototype. In order to appropriately begin the development of the prototype product, a four step process was utilized by the design team. The first step that took place was to define what purpose the prototype was being developed to accomplish. After much discussion, the design team determined that the prototype product would best be used to focus on learning purposes, which helped to develop the subsequent questions that we would use as the basis to judge the prototype. The next step used was to establish the level of approximation of the prototype. The design team determined that the prototype development would be based on approximations that involved the production design. This was done to better prepare the team and overall product for initial production ramp-up in a shorter period of time. The next step, which will be outlined in the experimental design section, was to outline an experimental plan. The design team was required to identify experimental values, test protocol, measurements to be performed, and analysis of the resulting data. This will all be outlined further in the next section. After the experimental plan was outlined, a schedule for procurement, construction, and test was developed. This step is very important to the overall development and execution of the prototype plan since it defines actual dates to complete designated tasks. Once all of this information was compiled, the design team outlined this information in a spreadsheet for further reference, which is shown below in Table 2.
I. BACKGROUND In October 1995, Chester Allan, Gillette’s country manager in Indonesia, was developing his unit’s 1996 marketing plan. Once completed, it would be forwarded to Rigoberto Effio, business director in Gillete’s Asia-Pacific group based in Singapore. Each year Effio received and approved marketing plans for the 12 countries in his region, which reached from Australia ...
Name of Prototype: | | Hockey Stick Car Rack | |
| | | |
Purpose: | | What combination of height used with rack and stick securing mechanism yields the most convenience? (Learning) |
(Communication, Learning, Integration, Milestones) | | How much variation is there in users’ preferences for feel? (Learning) |
| | | |
Level of Approximation: | | Rack surface material as planned for production design. |
| | Support material as planned for production design. |
| | Support contact geometry as planned for production design. |
| | | |
Quantity to Be Built: | | 2 sets of 5 different heights for rack |
| | 2 different securing mechanisms |
| | | |
Outline of Test Plan: | | Test heights of 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0, 5.5 ft for each of two clamping mechanisms |
| | Verify that all the heights provide at least minimally acceptable performance |
| | Have at least 20 users rank order the prototypes according to feel |
| | | |
Schedule: | | 12 June | Parts Available |
| | 12 June | Parts Assembled |
| | 20 June | Tests Completed |
| | 22 June | Analysis of results completed |
Table 2: Prototype Plan
To successfully test the hockey stick prototype rack, the design team planned experimental runs in order to elicit desired effects. The design team determined that the maximum amount of information needed to be obtained using a minimum amount of resources, which led them to implement the use of a factorial designed experiment. The team determined this would prove most effective since it is a structured approach to quantify the effect of varying the inputs on the process outputs. The factorial experiment also allowed the team to adjust the inputs of the experiment in a systematic way to learn which factors had the greatest impact on the overall quality of the hockey stick car rack. The design team ran the experiment and analyzed the results of the experiment once the overall control factors for the experiment with corresponding metrics were determined. The experimental design process is shown below in Figure 10 and the results of the full factorial experiment are shown below in Table 3.
Introduction A company is looking to upgrade its current database system. The company has multiple locations nationwide with the main headquarters located in Southern California. Currently, each location has its own database that is not online and only contains the local sites information. The database holds employee’s personal information as well as payroll information. They would like to have ...
Figure 10: Experimental Design Process
| | | High Setting | Low Setting |
| | | (+) | (-) |
| | Factor A: Height | 5.5 ft | 3.5 ft |
| | Factor B:Time | 10 min. | 6 min. |
| | | | |
Run | Factor A Setting | Factor B Setting | Interaction | Measured Response |
| Height (ft) | Time (min) | A & B | (y) |
1 | 3.5 | 6 | + | 4 |
2 | 3.5 | 10 | – | 8 |
3 | 5.5 | 6 | – | 6 |
4 | 5.5 | 10 | + | 10 |
Low (-) Setting | 6 | 5 | 7 | |
High (+) Setting | 8 | 9 | 7 | |
Delta | 2 | 4 | 0 | |
Table 3: Full Factorial Design
The design team developed a Design Failure Modes and Effects Analysis, which allows for numerous benefits, including risk factors, continuous improvement, and failure modes, to be realized. The first step taken by the design team to develop a proper analysis was to identify the component and function of the hockey stick rack. The component chosen by the team was the clamping mechanism which is used to secure the stick to the vehicle. The failure modes of this component were then identified. Potential failure modes identified by the design team included fracturing of the component, worn parts of the component, deformation, as well as the component being loose on the vehicle. Once the failure modes are identified, the effect of these failures must be realized. These effects ranged considerably for the hockey stick car rack from mild hazards to severe outcomes and the corresponding severity of each of these outcomes was also determined. Since the effects were found, the design team could then determine the cause of each associated effect, as well as the occurrence that this situation could take place. In order to deter the cause of the failure and resulting hazard to take place, the design team assessed the controls that must be used to appropriately detect and prevent these scenarios from occurring. The detection rating of these control factors was also determined by the design team. Once these variables are identified, the risk probability number was determined which notifies the design team of the underlying potential risk and failures. This allowed the design team to develop recommended actions to correct these scenarios and then develop predicted variables from the corrective actions. All of this information can be seen below in Figure 11, which shows the FMEA form, as well as a larger image shown in Appendix A.
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Figure 11: Design FMEA
Intellectual Property Plan
In order to appropriately prevent competitor replication of the hockey stick car rack, the design team developed an intellectual property plan for the product. A great deal of time and research was put toward finding similar patents to the BRC product. The design team found many previous patents had already been established in the market. However, due to this broad range of pre-existing patents, the design team decided to focus on development of a narrow coverage patent. The strategy will be used to develop a key patent that prevents a competitor from duplicating the exact same features and functionality. This strategy will be applied to specifically the securing of hockey sticks to the vehicle since no such product or specification is currently in the market. BRC will initially put effort to applying for a provisional patent so that the firm can determine whether the product will actually be profitable in the market. Since the team has completed the strategy as well as the study of prior art, the design team will now need to outline claims and write the specifications for the hockey stick car rack. Once these steps are complete, the claims can be refined by a patent attorney and BRC will then be able to pursue an intellectual property application. This process will help to ensure the success of the overall product as well as the firm’s growth.
An overall project plan has numerous aspects to ensure successful development of the project. The first step in developing a project is to generate the tasks list. Once this task list is developed, three steps (develop schedule, estimate time, and develop project team) must occur simultaneously. The first step of developing the project schedule was successfully completed by the design team using a Gantt Chart. The design team began with the goal of having the project elapse over a timeframe of approximately one year, which allowed the team to determine approximate timeframes for tasks as well as predecessors for tasks. The Gantt chart is shown below in Figure 12, with where the project is currently, as well as a larger image shown in Appendix B.
Figure 12: Gantt Chart
Once the design team began to determine the estimated timeframe for each task as well as associated predecessors for tasks, a PERT chart was able to be developed. The PERT chart allows the design team to more appropriately estimate task time as well as overall project completion time. The PERT chart shows each task in a separate box along with the duration of time (in weeks) that it takes to complete each task. In addition to this, the PERT chart also allows for the design team to analyze and evaluate project paths as well as the critical path for the project, which is tremendously important information to the design team. The PERT chart is shown below in Figure 13, with where the project is currently, as well as a larger image shown in Appendix C.
Figure 13: PERT Chart
Design Structure Matrix
Aside from determining work dependency of tasks, it is important to identify information dependency of tasks. The design team generated a design structure matrix since it serves as an information exchange model. Since information flows are easier to capture than work flows, this model serves as another method of evaluating how certain tasks can affect timeframes of certain tasks as well as the entire project. This shows that the proper methods of communication must be in place within a team or organization to ensure the successful completion of the project, not just simply work flows. The information flow within the hockey stick rack project is shown below in Figure 14.
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N |
A | — | | X | | | | | | | | | | | |
B | | — | | | | | | | | | | | | |
C | | X | — | | | | | | | | | | | |
D | | | | — | X | X | | | | | | X | | |
E | | | | | — | X | | X | | | X | | | |
F | | X | | | | — | | | X | | | X | | |
G | | X | | | | | — | | | | X | | | |
H | X | | | X | | | | — | X | | X | | | |
I | | | X | | | X | | | — | X | | | | |
J | | X | X | | | | | | | — | X | X | | |
K | | X | X | | | | | | | | — | | | |
L | X | | | | | | | | X | X | X | — | | |
M | | | | | | | | | | | | | — | |
N | | | | | | | | | | | | | | — |
Table 4: Design Structure Matrix
A very important part to any project plan is an overall budget. The design team determined approximate amounts and percentages that would go into the hockey stick car rack project. Major budget items that were taken into account included human resources, materials, services, tooling/equipment, facility, and contract development. Uncertainty is very high at an early stage in the project development so estimation accuracy may be only 30% to 50%. With this being the case, the design team took into account an appropriate margin for contingency. The overall project budget for the hockey stick car rack is shown below in Table 5.
Item | | Amount | % |
Staff Salary | | | |
354 Man-weeks@$3,000/wk | | $1,062,000.00 | 82.52% |
Materials and services | | $125,000.00 | 9.71% |
Prototype molds | | $75,000.00 | 5.83% |
Outside services and consultants | | $25,000.00 | 1.94% |
| Subtotal | $1,287,000.00 | |
| Contingency (20%) | $257,400.00 | |
| Total | $1,544,400.00 | |
Table 5: Project Budget
Human Resource Usage
The hockey stick car rack project has a significant amount of work associated with it so a good deal of planning in regards to human resources must be taken into account. The team was made up of 11 people and one full time Team Leader for the entire duration of the project. In order to appropriately plan the responsibility of staff members, approximated time estimation for tasks must be divided between team members. This planning can be done in programs such as Microsoft Project for more in-depth analysis and project oversight. The information related to human resource usage and team planning is shown below in Figure 14.
Figure 14: Human Resource Usage
To appropriately determine the success rate of a project prior to overall completion and launch, some form of risk mitigation must be taken into account. A great deal of this risk evaluation can be done through implementation of the failure modes and effect analysis. The first step taken by the design team to develop a proper analysis was to identify the component and function of the hockey stick rack. The component chosen by the team was the clamping mechanism which is used to secure the stick to the vehicle. The failure modes of this component were then identified. Potential failure modes identified by the design team included fracturing of the component, worn parts of the component, deformation, as well as the component being loose on the vehicle. Once the failure modes are identified, the effect of these failures must be realized. These effects ranged considerably for the hockey stick car rack from mild hazards to severe outcomes and the corresponding severity of each of these outcomes was also determined. Since the effects were found, the design team could then determine the cause of each associated effect, as well as the occurrence that this situation could take place. In order to deter the cause of the failure and resulting hazard to take place, the design team assessed the controls that must be used to appropriately detect and prevent these scenarios from occurring. The detection rating of these control factors was also determined by the design team. Once these variables are identified, the risk probability number was determined which notifies the design team of the underlying potential risk and failures. This allowed the design team to develop recommended actions to correct these scenarios and then develop predicted variables from the corrective actions. The overall analysis and results from these can be seen below in Table 6.
Risk | Risk Level | Actions to Minimize Risk |
| | |
Change in Specs | Moderate | Involve customer in process of refining specs |
| | Work with customer to estimate time and cost penalties of change |
| | |
Lower than expected performance | Low | Build early functional prototype |
| | Test prototype |
| | |
Delays in machine work | Moderate | Reserve 20% of shop capacity for October-November |
| | |
Molding problems require rework of mold | High | Involve mold maker and designer in the part design |
| | Perform FEA |
| | Establish design rules for part design |
Table 6: Risk Mitigation
The objective of this project was to take the Hockey Stick Car Rack idea and turn it into a viable product through product and process development. Through sound engineering and analysis of product design principles, Blue Ribbon Consulting was able to create a product that met its customer needs, but also retained its profitability. Every step of the development process was thoroughly scrutinized until the product met the goals of that stage. This led to three generated concepts, but ultimately one design selected. This design was then optimized for the original needs of the project as well as robustness, quality, and manufacturability. The Hockey Stick Car Rack is now a great product ready to reap the benefits of an open market.