The main objective of the design phase is to provide a detailed design of every component of the new production line.
The initial 3D design provides the engineering base. Derived is a detailed parts breakdown for ordering, manufacturing and financial evaluation. A functional description of any movement and state is generated to start electrical design plus PLC and robot programming. Media needs for processing, cooling and venting have to be defined. Material flow simulations optimize buffers, availability and productivity. Multi resource simulations uncover accessibility & tackt issues, mechanical collisions and blockades.
The final 2D design provides the necessary details to start manufacturing of all components.
Besides supervising the design progress project management has to do detailed planning for manufacturing, construction and commissioning phase. Subcontractors and resources need to be allocated and ordering processes initialized.
Before entering the manufacturing phase it is advised to seek for design approval from the customer. Without signed design approval project changes and issues originating at the customer are hard to prove.
A three step buy off might be useful:
  • a functional and informal buy off at details level can speed up start of manufacturing
  • a full set of documentation has to be provided to the customer
  • a formal buy off, which may well overlap into manufacturing phase, freezes the design and could be used as a scheduled billing point.
Useful strategies:
  • in order to prevent backlogs manufacturing usually may start with the informal functional buy off for each component. Waiting for formal buy off may create unwelcome delays.
  • gradual functional buy offs offers the advantage to order long lead parts early.
  • priorizing production cells along production workflow ensures easy commissioning later on.
  • 8 eye principle: one person from engineering, one from management on both sides (supplier and customer).


This phase is highly dynamic due to discovered issues. Communication between supplier’s and customer’s engineering is key. A formal automated monitoring based on component/part lists and detailed schedule – as it is possible later on – often fails due to this dynamics, so maturity monitoring might be available on meta level only.



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