Machine design is an area of study in which one learns to design machine parts by utilizing its whole knowledge and experience in field of mechanical engineering. Machine design is the single most important activity in the mechanical industries. Success or failure of a company has its roots in product design. It is here that manufacturing costs and profits are determined.
The knowledge of machine design helps the designers as follows:
- To select proper materials and best suited shapes,
- To calculate the dimensions based on the loads on machines and strength of the material,
- Specify the manufacturing process for the manufacture of the designed component of the machine or the whole machine.
In short, mechanical design services provide the necessary components and framework to achieve the product’s intended functions. Many industrial design firms can design the exterior of the product with impressive 3D renderings but, although they can look great, the functional requirements are often not accounted for. Key technologies covered include computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM), electrical and electronics, fastening and joining, fluid power, manufacturing, engineered materials, mechanical engineering, and motion control.
Designers of machinery are individuals who use their talents to solve user-product problems on an on-going basis. Machine design is a team effort requiring a variety of talents. Machine design is an art as much as a science. Machine design is not either guided by any rigid rules nor is a random procedure. There are a number of factors that can aid a machine design process.
Let us have a look at the general procedure for machine design:
Machine Design Procedure:
- Understand the Requirements:
The first step of engineering a high performance machine is recognizing the need i.e. understanding the purpose of design. Preparing a complete statement of the problem that includes details about the aim or purpose for which the mechanical design project is proposed.
- Analyze and Evaluate the Design Mechanism:
Shortlist and analyze various possible mechanisms for the machine. Select the best mechanism for your design that will give this machine the desired motion.
- Analysis of Forces:
Analyze how every component of a machine with fit in and interact with each other, also analyze what forces act on each and every component of the mechanical equipment and the energy transmitted by each component.
- Design of Elements:
All the components of equipment are subject to stress and other forces during operation. These stresses affect the strength of the machine. Hence analyzing these stresses is important to design mechanical equipment that is durable and can endure the stresses of real world working conditions.
- Material Analysis and Selection:
Based on the analysis of stresses that work upon the machine components individually select the appropriate material for machine component design.
- Design Iteration for Manufacturing:
Design changes, that do not affect the performance of the product but facilitates easy manufacturing the machine and its components is advisable.
Creation of Detailed Mechanical Drawings:
Create the detailed drawings of each component and assembly of the machine. Complete specification using CAD capabilities can be of great assistance for manufacturing process.