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Manufacturing Principles

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.



(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



Last Updated on June 22, 2021

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