Industrial design is the professional service of creating and developing ideas and specifications that optimize the function, value and appearance of products and systems.

The special requirements of consumers or manufacturers induce Industrial designers to develop these concepts and specifications through gathering, analysis and synthesis of data.

Traditionally, design methods tend to focus on analytic approaches, conceptualization, synthesis and aesthetics, owing to their historical ties to the arts.

Encompassing all theories of creative problem solving, the science of design methodology offers an integrated view where equally every orientation is equally valid, and is more "creative".

A complete design process takes advantage where appropriate: approaches for analysis, approaches for synthesis and more importantly, a technique like Structured Planning providing a framework for a comprehensive approach.

Design is a matter of complex information processing and like this tends to foster rational methods and tools whose intensity problem identification and analysis.




Product designs have been present for as long as mass production has existed. Before times, there appeared a division of intellectual labor in which the designer was responsible for producing the design and the manufacturer was responsible for fabricate the product. Since of this division the product designer should work in ignorance of the manufacturer's constraints.

The designer separating design from manufacturing makes the product difficult and costly to produce, and does not necessarily conform to the market requirements. This functional separation and its resulting adverse consequences on the resulting product design may be frequent with other functions such as marketing, maintenance or others.

The key for this situation is to have the designer become more involved with other concerns within whole product development, increasing level of competition, the role of new manufacturing process, and the need to reduce development lead-time.



The essence of Concurrent Engineering is:

I. Increased role of manufacturing process issues on product design decisions
II. Focus on gathering products requirements
III. Formation of cross-functional teams
IV. Lead-time as competitive advantage




The increased role of manufacturing process design on product design decisions and the formation of cross-functional teams to accomplish the development process in the middle of a focus on the product requirements during the development process, and the use of lead time are a source of competitive advantages.

Every product has to incorporate constraints imposed by the manufacturing process in the product design, depending on which manufacturing process is considered, these effects may be conveyed through individual experience and expertise or else may be encoded into formal computer-based rules. Addressing these design concerns early in the development process creates the opportunity to reduce manufacturing costs and improve product quality.


Frequently the method of accomplishing the integration of design with other functions is through the use of cross-functional teams, which may include people with expertise in production, marketing, finance, service or other relevant areas, depending on the type of product.

An additional important functional obstacle is the separation between the engineering designer and the consumer requirements. The designer know how become more responsive to consumer requests and thereby create a more successful product, which is known as design-marketing integration.

The main objective is to deliver specifications and underlying concepts for the design and the control of flexible manufacturing systems for an integrated computer-aided method, which supports a concurrent engineering approach for products development. This integrated method is divided in several modules, which analyze to improve of assembly of a design, the assembly order, the design of assembling parts, and the simulation of the process taking into account scheduling and flow control. Manual, Automatic, and semi- automatic operation are foreseen for each module.

The implementation of communication between design and manufacturing in an environment of real concurrent integrated engineering in a CAD system provide the reliable method.

Lead-time has proved to be a significant component of modern competition. By decreasing the lead-time the company is able to rapidly respond to market trends or to incorporate new technologies. A narrowed lead-time creates a market advantage for companies who are able to produce products rapidly.


One of the primary motivations for a concurrent engineering approach to product development is a request to abbreviate the total time that it takes to convey a product to the marketplace.

The notion that the development cycle time is an important competitive advantage and that involving all aspects of the design problem simultaneously might lead to a condensed development cycle is a long-standing precept.


Life Cycle Assessment is an analytical tool to evaluate the environmental consequences of a product or activity integrally, across its entire life.

Typically, energy and raw material requirements, atmospheric emissions, water emissions, solid wastes, and other releases are mapped and listed over the entire life cycle of a product, package, process, material, or activity.

The impacts associated with these flows are evaluated on product systems of varying complexity.


Life Cycle Design is a structure for integrating environmental determination into product development by considering all stages of a product's life cycle, from raw materials acquisition through manufacturing and use to final disposal of wastes.

Activities include identifying system requirements, selecting strategies for come across these requirements, and evaluating interaction among system alternatives. Successful environmental integration frequently must be achieved within the context of more stringent regulations, and global competitiveness.

The objective of life cycle design is to enhance environmental performance across the life cycle while also optimizing functional performance, cost, and quality requirements that influence the product system, and design analysis of these product systems and opportunities for improvement.

(>> See PROMISE-PLM research project)
(>> See EPFL - Ecole Polytechnique Féderal de Lausanne Researches Projects)
Use the arrows to browse the pages inside the themes

RPD - Rapid Product Development
RP - Rapid Prototyping
RT - Rapid Tooling



The technologies that are changing in a fast way the manufacturing systems represent the most important industrial subject.

The FoF portal has a special section with a complete directory to suppliers, technology and research covering all these domains.

(>> See complete section)


FlexRobot® is a device patent pending technology for vacuum devices, presenting large amount of applications and functions from household to medical and industrial applications.

See the section for eleven sequential pages showing main applications.

(>> See complete section)

New Products for Manufacturing

The section proposal is offer to industries new technologies, patents, technology transfer for manufacturing new products under licensing agreement or other forms.



(>> See complete section)




Advertising on FoF Portal

To make public announcement and specially to proclaim the qualities or advantages of products, technology, patent, equipment or business the portal proposes wide options, see in the page:

Factory of Factories® Portal
Published by
LabGraph - digital laboratory

Articles & Publication

To submit articles, publications, researches and propositions see the page:



Seções Principais Domínios Pesquisa Industrial Tecnologias Projetos Materiais Informações