One of the first things I look for in a Design whether it is in software or hardware is if I can think of a way to make it simpler. Another thing I learned was if you ask the Manufacturing guys what they think of your design you will likely get a lot of suggestions for making it easier and less expensive to manufacture while still keeping the original functionality.
Long ago I owned an older Mercedes and had occassion to replace the turn signal switch. I had a chance to compare the German design with an American one. Although the designs were pretty similar for the most part, the German switch was definitely more elaborate and obviously designed to last longer. It also cost double that of the American car part.
Collaboration can usually be counted on to improve the overall Design, Cost of Manufacture and Service Life. One might think the Design is complete, but that will most likely persist only until the first and hopefully early Design Review.
New versions of BASF's Ecovio line are both compostable and designed for either injection molding or thermoforming. These combinations are becoming more common for the single-use bioplastics used in food service and food packaging applications, but are still not widely available.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This radio show will show what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.