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Concept Generation And Selection Prac Pre Report

1383 words - 6 pages

The notion of concept generation and selection is an important step along the engineering process. Concept generation revolves around the idea of conducting research around a product area and the development of solutions to the problem set out (Smith, 2014). Meanwhile Concept selection is the process of evaluating the solutions developed against each other and if it meets the criteria for the initial problem attempting to be solved. The completion of the two tasks mentioned above can be done through a number of methods for each area which this report will look into for both areas with case studies and examples used in the real world.
Concept generation is “the notion of intensifying possible solution and can involve a number of ways of find this” (Smith, 2014). Within concept generation a number of ideas mentioned below are combined together to form a final solution. One such combination often occurs through research with can often involve identifying competitive products and existing solution to gain an understanding on what is done well and where a product lacks. This research can also include performing patent searches to both gain understanding of what current solutions are present. Another form of research which can occur is reverse engineering which is “any activity that is done to determine how a product works, to learn the ideas and technology that were used in developing this product” (CEM KANER, 1998). Reverse engineering is used in a numbers of fields within engineering particular in software engineering where it can be used to see if a competitor has used sections of your original code while the opposite action is often used to gain knowledge of code to allow file formats to work with a new product. There is also a lot of ethical concern around the notion of reverse engineering and caution must be taken when doing this as not the break the copyright or patents around solutions in engineering. After research has been conducted the criteria around a solution can be generated.
Defining a selection criteria is often done through concept mapping which “is a type of structured conceptualisation which can be used by groups to develop a conceptual framework which can guide evaluation or planning” (Trochim, 1989). The process involves the condensing research conducted into finding major design areas and what specifications a proposed solution should have. Concept mapping will be used throughout the EWB challenge in helping to evaluate and compare solutions. With a criteria set brainstorming can occur now to help generate a solution. This section is critical in the development of ideas. Many case studies in brainstorming have concluded that a variation on brain storming call body storming can be more effective. The main different between these methods is that body storming involve more movement and acting out solutions rather than just sitting at a table (Gerber, 2009). Another form of concept generation can be through the use of drawing...

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