Product engineering and design is important because it allows consumers and manufacturers to interact through several ways. Adequately designed products are better selling, with certain designs also improving on the quality of some of the products. Some of the factors considered in product design and engineering include the use of the product, the target markets, and the durability of the same product.
In the case study, several products will be considered followed by a thorough analysis of their designs. Such products that the study considers include Coke bottles, running shoes (specifically Salomon Sense Mantra Trail Shoe), air conditioner, dishwasher, and iPhones.
Description of the product
This section provides an analysis of the design of coke bottles. Coke bottles, as referred here are the glass bottles that the soft drink Coca-Cola Company uses to distribute its drinks. Some of the company employees constantly refer to the characteristic bottle that the company markets its beverage as the contour bottle, with others referring to it as the hobble skirt (Chan 2004).
The bottle came into being about a century ago when the company asked the suppliers to engage in a competition to see who would produce a bottle that would be unique to the company. The competition bore fruit with the current design being made by one of the employees in the glass companies making the bottle.
The material used in the production is glass based on a number of factors and considerations. Glass may be fragile. However, it has a number of characteristics that make it suitable in the making of coke glass. Being transparent, glass contributes in the marketing of the beverage since consumers are able to distinguish the product and/or associate it with its quality and standard.
It also gives the various products marketed in the same bottle a different look. Glass is also inert. It does not react with the contents of the bottle. This ensures that it is safe for human consumption. The marketed in the bottle would react with some of the common marketing materials, thus giving the product a distinct taste that may not be appealing to consumers.
Another reason for the choice of glass over other materials is in the ease of recycling where the same bottle is used repeatedly to package the beverage. The company delivers the product to outlets, which in turn return the empty bottles to the company for refilling.
Glass bottles are also durable. They can be used for many years without wear and tear, as opposed to other materials. Glass is also easy to clean and decontaminate after use. All the above reasons make glass the ideal material for the packaging of coke beverages.
The coke bottle is made in a number of companies around the world that are contracted by the mother company. The process of making these glass bottles has evolved over time, with the original hand blowing method being abandoned. The process is now mechanised, with most of the bottles being made from recycled glass.
From the raw material, the process of melting takes place to allow the moulding of the obtained products. Forming and annealing are the next processes, which are followed by physical inspection of the resultant product. The next step is the inspection of the product by the use of machines and lasers that discard the incomplete and poor quality bottles.
In the conveyer belt, the bottles have to be inspected again physically, with this step being followed by the quality control process. The final stage before the bottles are supplied for beverage bottling is the packaging for the transport.
Life Cycle Analysis
In the life cycle analysis of a coke bottle, the bottle is sent for bottling of the Coca-Cola beverage after it has been manufactured. The beverage is then distributed to the retail markets in different parts of the world through the big supply outlets. Consumers access it through the retail markets when they want the beverage, after which the bottle is returned to the retailer. The company then gets it for refilling and marketing (PR 2011).
Coke bottles are some of the most available products for recycling. They are easily recycled to serve in the bottling of more beverages. Once a consumer uses the beverage, the bottle is returned to the supplier who sends it back to the company in exchange for full bottles (Smith-Teutsch 2009).
The empty bottles are then refilled and reused. Broken bottles are also recycled, with new bottles being made from them. Some of the glasses used to make some of the bottles are more than 20 years old, only being available through recycling.
Overall Product Appeal
The overall product appeal is very good. The brand is one of the most recognised anywhere in the world. The bottle contributes to the recognition accorded to the whole product. Only few people and countries are unable to recognise it.
The brand is also the best selling in its class for many years by managing to kill competition by the easy and consistent design that it has kept over the years ( all its Olympic bottles 2012). It is therefore right to say that the coke bottle is one of the most appealing of products in its class.
Running Shoes: Salomon Sense Mantra Trail Shoe
Description of the Product
Salomon Sense Mantra Trail Shoe is one of the shoe brands that can be used in trail running. The shoe is a product of the Salomon Company, which has put decades into the manufacture of quality shoes. The latest trail shoes are made to be light for runners while at the same time offering protection from the feet.
Trail running requires that the participants have well-fitting and comfortable shoes to minimise injury after a long run and/or reduce the impact on the ground. This shoe is designed especially for that, with a combination of several materials to make it desirable to users.
Traditionally, shoes have been made out of leather, with this being a way of making them durable and relatively comfortable (Larson 2013). Trail running however requires the runner to use the lightest shoes that are comfortable and durable at the same time. The material chosen in the manufacture of the Salomon Sense Mantra Trail Shoe has the above characteristic.
It is suitable during trail running. The first material used is leather that is used to reinforce the meshwork at the front-upper part of the shoe that can be described as a breather. The mesh continues at the front of the shoe to a rubber part, which forms the toe box.
The reason for use of rubber at this part of the shoe and other parts is to ensure comfort at the same spots during the running process. The tongue at the front of the shoe is made of lycra and nylon. This makes it thin and flexible (Trail Running 2013, p. 71). The heel is soft since it is made of rubber, which allows weight bearing and softer landing while out on the trail.
The shoes are manufactured using state of the art technology at the company factory, with the materials being widely available. The materials used in the manufacture of the sole are mainly ethylene vinyl acetate, which is mixed with other materials such as silicon and polyurethane for more comfort, durability, and aesthetic appeal. The lower part of the sole is reinforced through the mixing of the above materials with carbon rubber, with this making it durable and allowing it to bear stress.
The upper covering is later made from the different materials named above depending on the part that is being made. The shoe is made in different colours by the dying of the complete product or using the dyed material. Leather that is used in the making of some of the parts is brought into the manufacturing plant when already cut and tanned.
Life Cycle Analysis
After the shoes are ready, the different sizes are put together for packaging in the appropriate boxes in readiness for sale and export. These are then loaded onto the waiting trucks and vans that distribute to the various outlets or the different retailers. They are also packed in large quantities in containers that are then loaded into ships for transfer to the international markets.
Consumers have to buy the shoes from the designated outlets all over the world or in the shopping malls and retail outlets. The price is predetermined. Each of the retailers adds his or her costs. The end users are the consumers who can discard the shoe if they are no longer useful to them or pass them down to others. The shoes can also wear out necessitating replacement.
Although the shoes can be used for several years without wear and tear, the recyclability of the materials used is not very good. However, the rubber and the nylon could be recycled and used to make other products such as key holders. The shoes are therefore not easily recyclable.
It would be an environmental concern if most of the people disposed them wrongly. The sole could be dismantled into the various component materials with these being used to make other shoes and wares. The process would however be expensive and tedious.
Overall Product Appeal
The product trail shoe is appealing to trail runners, with most of them preferring it to other brands of running shoes. The general reasons for preference include the light nature of the shoe, the durability, and the different designs that are available. They are also marketed as suitable for both on and off-road with minimal wear and tear.
The other appealing characteristic of the shoes is the comfort they accord to the runners feet ensuring that they do not get the associated injuries. A number of runners also prefer the shoe brand because of the design that sets the shoe apart in the industry. It is considered more prestigious in relation to other shoes. The design has also attracted awards, with the shoe being voted the second best trail shoe (Dreher 2005)
Air conditioner is a machine that allows air conditioning. to the equilibration of room temperature to provide comfort. Several companies manufacture the machine. It constitutes of a number of parts assembled together.
Description of the product
Air conditioner allows the cooling of rooms that would otherwise be too warm or hot, thus making it comfortable to live in these kinds of places. The machine cools rooms in a system that operates like a freezing system (Udagawa et al. 2013). In addition, it filters the air. Air conditioner can be set to a certain temperature. In fact, with the thermostatic control, it can ensure that the room is maintained at this given temperature.
The main components of the air conditioning machine include the compressor that compresses the cooling fluid, the blower that contributes to the cooling of the air, and the cooling coils that radiate the heat to and from the machine. These work in concert to produce a unit that keeps rooms at a constant temperature.