Product design specification

Product design specification

A product design specification (PDS) is a statement of what a not-yet-designed product is intended to do. Its aim is to ensure that the subsequent design and development of a product meets the needs of the user.The Open University (UK), 2001. T881 Manufacture Materials Design: Block 1: The design activity model, page 10. Milton Keynes: The Open University.]

The PDS acts as an initial boundary in the development of products. However, it will naturally evolve as it is progressed through the different stages of the design process.The Open University (UK), 2001. T881 Manufacture Materials Design: Block 1: The design activity model, page 9. Milton Keynes: The Open University.]

Information included in a PDS

A PDS is not limited to the function the product is designed to perform. It will consider issues as diverse asThe Open University (UK), 2001. T881 Manufacture Materials Design: Block 1: The design activity model, page 12 and 13. Milton Keynes: The Open University.]

* Performance (e.g. speed, power)
* Weight and size
* Operating environment (during storage, transport, installation and use)
* Target cost
* Appearance
* Ergonomic issues
* Life expectancy of the product
* End-of-life disposal
* Safety issues
* Standards or industry codes of practice
* Existing patents in the specific area.
* Quantity of production
* Maintenance that may be available to the product.
* Intended time of market release

The relative importance of the factors considered in a PDS depends on the specific area of design and the particular application.

PDS vs. product specification

The PDS is a specification of what is required but not the specification of the product itself. Describing the actual product is done in the technical specification, once the product has been designed. The difference is important since describing the product itself at the stage of creating a PDS, effectively constraints the range of alternatives that are considered during the design process.

The distinction can be seen as the difference between "What is the product to do?" and "How will the product do it?"

PDS vs. design brief

The PDS evolves from the design brief. While the design brief outlines the design goal and major constraints and considerations, the PDS goes further to determine the precise limits for the full set of requirements in the product being designed.CROSS, N., 2006. T211 Design and Designing: Block 2, page 99. Milton Keynes: The Open University.]

ee also

* Design brief
* Design specification
* Specification
* Specification (technical standard)


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