Manufacturing Principles

Assessment Details


Unit Title: Manufacturing Principles
Unit Code: MFC400
Unit Leader:  
Level: FHEQ4
Assessment Title: Case Study
Assessment Number: AE1
Assessment Type: Written Report
Restrictions on Time/Length : 1500 words
Consequence of not meeting word count limit: Assignments should be presented appropriately in line with the restrictions stated above; if an assignment exceeds the time/word count this will be taken in account in the marks given using the assessment criteria shown.
Individual/Group: Individual
Assessment Weighting: 50%
Issue Date: 25th September 2017
Hand In Date: 09 April 2018
Planned Feedback Date: 30/04/2018
Mode of Submission: Electronic submission by File Upload
Number of copies to be submitted: one

Learning Outcomes


On successful completion of the unit, students should be able to:

  • Describe the external forces that impinge on product design and ultimately influence the manufacturing process.
  • Identify, appraise and compare manufacturing methods and materials for various applications and conditions.
  • Communicate ideas and concepts effectively.





Manufacturing Principles

Case Study


There are two stages to this case study.  In the first stage, you will select an item or subsystem of a larger product.  In the second stage, you will perform market research on your item and create Product Design Specification for the item.  You will then develop a more detailed PDS of a selected sub-component, and create a reasoned evaluation for including each requirement of the PDS.  You will choose and compare at least two materials with the requirements of the PDS, and choose and compare manufacturing processes for the item.


Stage 1 – The selection of an item for your case study


The first stage of this assignment requires you to select a manufactured item or sub-system consisting of a minimum of two permanently or temporarily assembled/ joined parts. To assist your decision, a list of example suitable items is attached which is by no means exhaustive.


No duplication of case selections is permitted between students.  Students will register their choice of item on SOL, with details of the method of registration to be confirmed.  Your final decision should be registered by Friday, 12/01/2018.  Any student failing to select a case by the set deadline may be assigned an item for study.


It is important to make a careful selection of your item to study, keeping in mind the type of analysis and appraisal that is required for this subject. It would be best to select an item that is readily available for your investigation, and also an item for which further information can easily be obtained. You will need to consider market requirements, functionality, quality, aesthetic features, environmental aspects, safety, strength, suitable manufacturing and materials selection for your case study.


Stage 2 – Research, analysis and reporting of case study


Once you have chosen your item for the case study, you need to perform research and use the CES software tool to answer the questions (detailed in the next section).  The report should be 1500 words (± 10%), excluding supportive material such as appendices. All material and evidence should be fully referenced.


The report should follow the structure given below:


Case study title
Brief introduction to the case study item
Question 1 – Market research and analysis, and Product Design Specification
Question 2 – Sub-system detailed PDS, with reasoning for each requirement
Question 3 – Materials comparison and appraisal of at least two materials  for the sub-system
Question 4 – Manufacturing processes for your sub-system.
Appendices (optional)







Be sure to be clear about what assumptions you make, for example production quantity etc.


Question 1:


Identify the market need and produce a Product Design Specification (PDS) for your complete working system. This will consist of the key requirements that contribute to the correct function of the product.


Question 2:


From the complete working system PDS develop a more detailed PDS of the selected sub-system/component and include a brief reasoned evaluation for the inclusion of each PDS requirement.


Question 3:


Examine, compare and appraise at least two materials against the requirements of the Product Design Specification for the selected sub-system of your case study. The appraisal should include evaluation of the component function versus material properties.


Question 4:


Whilst still focusing on your selected sub-system, compare suitable manufacturing processes and/or assembly for the materials considered above. There should be a clear link between the PDS and the evaluation, justification and selection criteria for the different combinations of Process/materials.


Your answers to the questions should fully reflect your background research, and your background research should be referenced.


EXAMPLE CASE STUDY LIST (You need not select from this list)


NOTE: Normally a sub assembly or part of one of the following items will provide sufficient material for your case study!


Paper Punch


Cooling Fan


Camping Stove

Foot Pump

Water Tap

Gardening Shears

Kitchen Scales

Power Drill

Computer Mouse

Hair Clippers

Thermostatic Radiator Valve

Shower MixerClock

Computer Chair


Pencil Sharpener



Grade Mark N,S,F3,F2,F1 D3,D2,D1 C3,C2,C1 B3,B2,B1 A4,A3,A2,A1
Research product requirements and functionality based on the market need Little relevant research. Few references. Poor understanding of the topic Relevant research that supports some parts of the report. Referenced material not always linked. Defines the function of the product. Basic but relevant Product Design Specification Research information related to the problem domain and produce relevant product design specifications Research and evaluate information related to the problem domain Initiate and undertake searches for information related to the problem domain, evaluate it and recommend actions based on the information
Evaluation and selection of Materials Little evidence of justification. Unrealistic selections, not linked to case study requirements Materials selected with some attempt at short-listing. Not always clear on reasoning but does provide some link to the product and PDS Proposes and compares candidate materials that meet the requirements of the Product Design Specification Justifies and evaluates the proposed candidate materials solution, demonstrating evidence of research and underpinning theory Clear evidence of extensive independent learning. Evaluates a range of technical options grounded in relevant theory
Evaluation and selection of Processes Little evidence of justification. Unrealistic selections, poor linkage to case study requirements. Little recognition of materials. Process selections are relevant to materials selected and are linked to the product being considered and PDS Proposes and compares candidate processes that meet the requirements of the Product Design Specification and selected materials Justifies and evaluates the proposed process solutions, demonstrating evidence of research and underpinning theory Clear evidence of extensive independent learning. Evaluates a range of technical options grounded in relevant theory
Effective written communication Poor reporting, unstructured, little communication of technical information. Word count more than ± 10% of specified Report shows evidence of some planning and attempts to communicate relevant information.  Word count more than ± 10% of specified Clear communication of technical information.  Word count more than ± 10% of specified Coherent communication using technical language accurately.  Word count within ± 10% of specified Professional presentation using technical language fluently. Word count within ± 10% of specified.


Late Submissions


Students are reminded that:


  1. If this assessment is submitted late i.e. within 5 working days of the submission deadline, the mark will be capped at 40% if a pass mark is achieved;
  2. If this assessment is submitted later than 5 working days after the submission deadline, the work will be regarded as a non-submission and will be awarded a zero;
  • If this assessment is being submitted as a referred piece of work (second or third attempt) then it must be submitted by the deadline date; any Refer assessment submitted late will be regarded as a non-submission and will be awarded a zero.


Extenuating Circumstances

The University’s Extenuating Circumstances procedure is in place if there are genuine circumstances that may prevent a student submitting an assessment. If students are not ‘fit to study’, they can either request an extension to the submission deadline of 5 working days or they can request to submit the assessment at the next opportunity (Defer).  In both instances students must submit an EC application with relevant evidence.   If accepted by the EC Panel there will be no academic penalty for late submission or non-submission dependent on what is requested.  Students are reminded that EC covers only short term issues (20 working days) and that if they experience longer term matters that impact on learning then they must contact a Student Achievement Officer for advice.


A summary of guidance notes for students is given below:


Academic Misconduct

Any submission must be students’ own work and, where facts or ideas have been used from other sources, these sources must be appropriately referenced. The University’s Academic Handbook includes the definitions of all practices that will be deemed to constitute academic misconduct.  Students should check this link before submitting their work.


Procedures relating to student academic misconduct are given below:


Ethics Policy

The work being carried out by students must be in compliance with the Ethics Policy. Where there is an ethical issue, as specified within the Ethics Policy, then students will need an ethics release or an ethical approval prior to the start of the project.


The Ethics Policy is contained within Section 2S of the Academic Handbook:


Anonymous Marking

A copy of the University’s Policy on Anonymous Marking, process details and student guidance on submission sheet completion can be found on the following links, which are also uploaded on the Student Portal.


Fact Sheet:





Grade marking

The University uses a letter grade scale for the marking of assessments. Unless students have been specifically informed otherwise their marked assignment will be awarded a letter grade. More detailed information on grade marking and the grade scale can be found on the portal and in the Student Handbook.




Guidance for online submission through Solent Online Learning (SOL)


Last Updated on December 1, 2020 by EssayPro