Detailed Design

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In the form of production documentation, the detailed design phase produces a detailed specification of each part and assembly.

What is a Detailed design phase?

In the Detailed design stage, the designing team completes the embodiment design and produces a detailed specification of each part and assembly. This includes final specifications and details of part shapes, forms, functions, dimensions, surface finish, and material options.

Therefore, Detailed design is the last step in Product Design Process (PDP), as shown in the image below, which starts the product design journey.

Product design process with 4 stages
Detailed design of product design process

This activity creates all the required documentation so the production can be started.

Detailed design steps

Steps and stages within the detailed design changes depending on the type of product, type of new product development and the company setup. Typically detailed design steps could involve the following steps.

  • Define Definitive layout
  • Complete detailed drawings and OEM component specifications
  • Integrate individual components into assemblies and create drawings and bill of materials (BOM).
  • Complete production documents with production notes, assembly methods, transport and operating instructions.
  • Check all documents for standards, completeness and correctness
  • Release into production

Detailed design activities

You have got the design through most of the challenging parts. Now, it is time to get your product manufactured. Whether a pre-production small batch or large-scale batch production, getting the detailed design stage right is crucial in avoiding future problems during production. 

Let us look at some of the key activities and decisions you must make during this phase.

Components selection and sizing

To carry out component selection and sizing during the detailed design stage, meticulously assess each required part for your product. Evaluate their functionality, compatibility, and manufacturing feasibility. Ensure that these components align with your design’s specifications and performance requirements. Determine precise dimensions and quantities needed. Consider materials, quality, and integration into the overall product assembly. Confirm that the selected components meet your product’s design criteria before advancing to manufacturing.

Make or buy decision

During this stage, you’ll make the “Make or Buy” decision by assessing whether to produce or purchase components internally. If you are a smaller company, it is cheaper to outsource most of the manufacturing to contract manufacturers. 

Consider factors like workforce expertise, cost, time, and quality control. Evaluate if your resources align with in-house production or if external suppliers offer better efficiency. Decide based on what best suits your production capabilities and supports your business goals.

Detailed engineering designs & drawings

To complete Engineering Drawings during the detailed design stage, meticulously outline each aspect of your product’s design. Ensure precise representations of dimensions, materials, and assembly instructions. Use software or drafting tools for accuracy. Include detailed annotations to guide manufacturing. Verify these drawings align perfectly with your product’s specifications before moving to the manufacturing phase.

detailed mechanical drawing

Bill of Materials

To complete the Bill of Materials (BOM) during the detailed design stage, meticulously list every component needed for your product. Detail materials, quantities, and specifications for each part. Ensure accuracy and alignment with the product design. Organise it in a structured format to guide procurement and manufacturing processes accurately. Double-check for completeness before moving ahead.

Revise the Product Design Specification

To revise the Product Design Specification (PDS) during the detailed design stage, begin by thoroughly reviewing the existing document outlining all aspects of your product’s design requirements, features, materials, dimensions, and performance criteria. Assess how well it aligns with initial specifications and any changes made during the design process. Incorporate feedback, improvements, or adjustments based on engineering analysis, testing results, and evolving customer needs. Ensure that the updated specification accurately reflects these modifications. It is a comprehensive guide for the subsequent manufacturing, assembly, and quality control phases, ensuring your product meets its intended objectives and standards.

Complete verification Prototype Testing

To complete verification Prototype Testing during the detailed design stage, meticulously conduct tests on your prototype. Validate its functionality, performance, and adherence to design specifications. Follow a comprehensive test plan, assessing every aspect. Record observations, identify any issues, and refine the design as needed. Ensure the prototype aligns perfectly with your intended product before proceeding to manufacturing.

Final Cost Estimate

To create a Final Cost Estimate during the detailed design stage, meticulously calculate materials, labour, and production expenses. Assess each component’s cost, considering quantities and suppliers. Factor in overheads and potential contingencies. Use detailed analysis and past data to ensure accuracy. Double-check calculations for a comprehensive understanding of the projected expenses before proceeding.

Prepare Design Project Report

Compile a comprehensive document outlining the entire design process to prepare a Design Project Report during the detailed design stage. Detail the project’s objectives, methodologies, and findings. Include design specifications, challenges faced, and solutions implemented. Present data, diagrams, and supporting evidence. Ensure clarity and coherence in explaining the design decisions and their impact on the final product.

Final Design Review

To conduct a Final Design Review during the detailed design stage, thoroughly assess every aspect of your product’s design. Evaluate if it meets specifications, functionality, and performance criteria. Review engineering drawings, test results, and documentation. Identify any discrepancies or areas needing improvement. Ensure alignment with project goals and client requirements before moving forward with manufacturing.

Release Design to Manufacturing

To release the Design to Manufacturing during the detailed design stage, ensure all design aspects are meticulously finalised and validated. Prepare comprehensive documentation, including finalised drawings, specifications, and test results. Coordinate with manufacturing teams, providing clear instructions and support. Verify that the design meets production capabilities and standards. Facilitate a smooth transition from design to manufacturing for efficient and accurate production.