Product Phase theory and IDEA

Product Phase theory and IDEA

“Product phases have the potential to map the status quo and future of a product”, Prof. dr. eng’r. A.O. Eger

The product phase theory provided by prof. dr. eng’r. A.O. Eger in combination with the IDEA theory (Industrial Design Evaluation Analysis) provided by eng’r. R.E. Wendrich led to the game controller design, and has also played a small role in the development of the turntable design.

The product phase theory describes the phenomena that appear during the various phases of a product’s life. According to this theory, six phases can be distinguished in the life of a product, aptly named ‘product phases’. Each phase is described by means of ten product characteristics. As such this theory improves insight in a product’s life cycle and when extrapolated aids in the development of a product.

IDEA is about breaking down a product and scrutinising all its elements, from the molecules that make up the material of the casing, to assembly and patents. This process gives insight into the development of the product, leading to a deeper understanding of the details and how they contribute to the product as a whole. In case of the game controller, the Wii remote was taken apart and analysed, after which all components were recreated in SolidWorks to create a complete 3D model of the Wii remote.

By thoroughly examining the product, one becomes much more aware of the intricate design processes that have led to the product’s existence. For instance, it becomes clear how a clever choice of components’ colours and shapes facilitates the assembly process. One also gains insight into the intricacies of the injection moulding process and how to exploit it to enhance both functionality and aesthetics of the design. A FEA (finite element analysis) also aids in this process.

Overall the combination of these two product theories forms a solid basis to work from to create a succesful product: a product that manages to take the next logical step and thus stay ahead of the competition.

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