Design & Technology
Systems and practices
Industrial practices are designed to ensure that quality products are manufactured efficiently at a profit. They involve designers working together with clients and manufacturers, all of whom need to keep the needs of the consumer in mind.
The client identifies the need for a product through market research and uses this to provide a design brief [design brief: A set of instructions given to a designer by a client. ] for the designer. They set production deadlines and the price of the product. The client is usually a manufacturer or retailer.
The designer works to the design brief and researches market trends, fabrics and processes, taking into account any relevant societal, cultural, moral, environmental or safety issues. They produce a design specification [design specification: Document containing details of a product's required characteristics, and all the processes, materials and other information needed to design the product. ], product costings, and help plan manufacturing.
The manufacturer uses models [model: A 2D or 3D representation of a product used to test it before manufacture. Examples are sketches, CAD designs, virtual products, styrofoam models and prototypes. ] or prototypes [prototype: A version of a product as it is being developed. ] made by the designer, and works out the most efficient way of manufacturing the product. They produce a production plan and a work schedule. During manufacture they aim to keep material and labour costs down, while producing a high-quality, safe product on schedule in a safe environment.
The user or consumer demands a product that meets their requirements: a high-quality, value-for-money and safe product.