Factors to be considered in machine design
There are many factors to be considered while attacking a design problem. In many cases these are a common sense approach to solving a problem. Some of these factors are as follows:
(a) What device or mechanism to be used? This would decide the relative arrangement of the constituent elements.
(c) Forces on the elements
(d) Size, shape and space requirements. The final weight of the product is also a major concern.
(e) The method of manufacturing the components and their assembly.
(f) How will it operate?
(g) Reliability and safety aspects
(h) Inspectibility (i) Maintenance, cost and aesthetics of the designed product.
What device or mechanism to be used- This is best judged by understanding the problem thoroughly. Sometimes a particular function can be achieved by a number of means or by using different mechanisms and the designer has to decide which one is most effective under the circumstances. A rough design or layout diagram may be made to crystallize the thoughts regarding the relative arrangement of the elements.
Material- This is a very important aspect of any design. A wrong choice of material may lead to failure, over or undersized product or expensive items. The choice of materials is thus dependent on suitable properties of the material for each component, their suitability of fabrication or manufacture and the cost.
Load- The external loads cause internal stresses in the elements and these stresses must be determined accurately since these will be used in determining the component size. Loading may be due to:
i) Energy transmission by a machine member.
ii) Dead weight.
iii) Inertial forces.
iv) Thermal effects.
v) Frictional forces.
In other ways loads may be classified as:
i) Static load- Does not change in magnitude and direction and normally increases gradually to a steady value.
ii) Dynamic load- a) changes in magnitude- for e.g. traffic of varying weight passing a bridge.
b) changes in direction- for e.g. load on piston rod of a double acting cylinder.
The nature of these loads are shown in figure-22.214.171.124.
Vibration and shock loading are types of dynamic loading.
Size, shape, space requirements and weight- Preliminary analysis would give an approximate size but if a standard element is to be chosen, the next larger size must be taken. Shapes of standard elements are known but for nonstandard element, shapes and space requirements must depend on available space in a particular machine assembly. A scale layout drawing is often useful to arrive at an initial shape and size. Weight is important depending on application. For example, an aircraft must always be made light. This means that the material chosen must have the required strength yet it must be light. Similar arguments apply to choice of material for ships and there too light materials are to be chosen. Portable equipment must be made light.
Care must always be taken to ensure that the designed elements may be manufactured with ease, within the available facilities and at low cost.
How will it operate
In the final stage of the design a designer must ensure that the machine may be operated with ease. In many power operated machines it is simply a matter of pressing a knob or switch to start the machine. However in many other cases, a sequence of operations is to be specified. This sequence must not be complicated and the operations should not require excessive force. Consider the starting, accelerating and stopping a scooter or a car. With time tested design considerations, the sequences have been made user-friendly and as in any other product, these products too go through continuous innovation and development.
Reliability and safety
Reliability is an important factor in any design. A designed machine should work effectively and reliably. The probability that an element or a machine will not fail in use is called reliability. Reliability lies between 0 ≤ R< 1. To ensure this, every detail should be examined. Possible overloading, wear of elements, excessive heat generation and other such detrimental factors must be avoided. There is no single answer for this but an overall safe design approach and care at every stage of design would result in a reliable machine. Safety has become a matter of paramount importance these days in design. Machines must be designed to serve mankind, not to harm it. Industrial regulations ensure that the manufacturer is liable for any damage or harm arising out of a defective product. Use of a factor of safety only in design does not ensure its overall reliability.
Maintenance, cost and aesthetics
Maintenance and safety are often interlinked. Good maintenance ensures good running condition of machinery. Often a regular maintenance schedule is maintained and a thorough check up of moving and loaded parts is carried out to avoid catastrophic failures. Low friction and wear is maintained by proper lubrication. This is a major aspect of design since wherever there are moving parts, friction and wear are inevitable. High friction leads to increased loss of energy. Wear of machine parts leads to loss of material and premature failure. Cost and aesthetics are essential considerations for product design.
Cost is essentially related to the choice of materials which in turn depends on the stresses developed in a given condition. Although in many cases aesthetic considerations are not essential aspects of machine design, ergonomic aspects must be taken into considerations.