The innovation process of a universal remote access device
A small design firm faces several risks when designing a new product. One of the biggest risks is not knowing the potential demand for a product that they might want to produce and market. Small firms have limited resources and cannot afford to design products that would fail in the marketplace. The concept of innovation refers to bringing a new product to the market successfully. Bringing a new product to the market before a competitor does so, reduces the potential risk of failure by the producer and increases their chance of successfully marketing their new product. It is difficult to assess the potential degree of innovativeness of a product before it is marketed. The most innovative products are those that satisfy the needs and wishes of the client as closely as possible. It is therefore necessary to somehow include the wishes of the client in the design stage of a new product. This will ensure that the wishes of the client is reflected as accurately as possible in all the design stages of a product, reducing the risk that the final product will miss its target clients. A Quality Function Deployment (QFD) process is used in the conceptual design stage of a new product to construct a user requirement statement. The closer this statement reflects the wishes of the client, the more potentially innovative a product may be. By using Multi Criteria Decision Making techniques, and especially the latest methodology in applying Thomas Saaty's Analytical Hierarchy Process, a clearer picture of design requirements may emerge. The design requirements may more closely reflect customer requirements by using techniques that have been proven to work better by other researchers. In addition to reflecting the wishes of the client, the proper use of system engineering techniques for the new design should be implemented. Using these systems engineering techniques, a design is carried out in an organised fashion and precious resources are not wasted and the QFD techniques are facilitated. As a case study, the evolution of a patented universal remote access device is described. The initial bad designs that lead to less innovative devices, are corrected when the wishes of the client are included in a new design. This successful design incorporates the QFD techniques described above.
- Engineering