Current Issues in Design - Survey 1995/6


The data below refers to figures in the original report which are not at present available for viewing on the web. For copies of the original report, please contact the authors - see main report for details

The Corporate Questionnaire and Operation Questionaire are shown separately


Figure No. Cor #

Cor1 Base data - return rate by age group
Cor2 Base data - Job titles
Cor3 Base data - Industrial mix
Cor4 Base data - production mix
Cor5 Base data - Annual turnover
Good mix of companies etc.

Cor6 Company activity analysis
75% still do internal design work whereas only 30% do exclusively in-house manufacture, clear moves towards external manufacturing.

Cor7 Base data - design work sector
Cor8 Base data - Number of employees
Cor9 Base data % technical staff
One third of companies have more than 50% technical staff
One third have less than 15% technical staff

Cor10 Base data % Chartered Engineers
In 80% of companies fewer than 15% of technical staff are chartered.

Cor11 Importance of CEng when recruiting
Only 3% say that CEng is essential, 40% don't consider CEng

Cor12 Development of new products
50% Market led, 30% technology led

Cor13 Design Issues
40% do not operate Concurrent Engineering
Design is mentioned in 75% of business strategies
40% do not have market data at the beginning of product development strategy
High use of contract designers

Cor14 Base data - Type of design activity
70% undertake some form of incremental design

Cor15a New product introduction/Patent registration - overall
Cor15b New product introduction - by production type
Cor15c Patent registration - by production type
High level of new product introduction(50% over 6 per year)
Small batch manufacturers introduce the new products
People who produce the new products are not doing the patenting

Cor16 Ratio of new to revised designs
Large emphasis on revising/updating designs
"Is support available/needed in this area ?"

Cor17a Auditing of design and manufacturing facilities - overall
Cor17b Manufacturing facilities only
Cor17c Design facilities only
Large amount of auditing
More informal in the design area
"Are procedures for auditing design facilities as developed as they might be?"

Cor18a Importance of aspect of business strategy - Cumulative frequency
Cor 18b - Base data
Compliant product priority, reduction in time to marketBRroduct cost reduction joint second

Cor19a Companies attempting to make changes - Cumulative frequency
Cor19b - Base data
Some success with compliant product, actively working on time to market, will look at design changes in the future

Cor20 Formal mention of importance of design aspects in business strategy
Some inconsistencies, 40% do not mention aspects formally

Cor21 Timescale for changes
Realistic time scales12/18 months normal target

Cor22 Constraints to making improvement
time, resources, computer support tools, IR problems, lack of integration of the design process

Cor23 Techniques for overcoming constraintsBRroblems
Location of teams, software tools, bottleneck identification priorities
People aspects rather low on list,50% do not consider CPD relevant!


CQ = Corporate Questionnaire
Figure No. Op #
Op1 Base data - return rate by age group
Op2 Base data - job titles
Op3 Base data - industrial mix
Op4 Base data - production mix
Op5 Base data - Qualifications
Good mix, good response across age range, 28,38,48,55, 90% graduate

Op6 Formal training at start of career
18% had no formal training bad This is across the age range and in fact higher for the 28 year olds.

Op7a Type of design activity
Op7b-g Time spent on of design activity
As CQ 75% involved in some sort of incremental design
Large amounts of time spent on administration
Encouraging amounts of customer/supplier liaison

Op8 Use of knowledge based engineering(KBE)
50% usage

Op9 Access to design tools
A lot of 3DCAD and FEA, over 50% access. Little access to product modelling and rapid prototyping, drawing boards on the way out over 40% have no access

Op10 Awareness of engineering aspects of business strategy
43% do not know or are only vaguely aware of the business strategy in terms of the engineering function(28+ chartered engineers)
"More communication with their Engineers/Designers?"

Op11a Key aspects for competitiveness - Overall
3 main drivers common with CQ, shift of emphasis - time to market first compliant product third.

Op11b Key aspects for competitiveness - one off
Op11c Key aspects for competitiveness - small batch
Op11d Key aspects for competitiveness - large batch
Op11e Key aspects for competitiveness - large volume
Main drivers common

Op12a Importance of rewards - overall
Income and satisfaction most important, security less important, engineers still very motivated by the job.

Op12b Importance of rewards - 28
Op12c Importance of rewards - 38
Op12d Importance of rewards - 48
Op12e Importance of rewards - 55
Satisfaction most important for 28/38 year olds, satisfaction and income for 48/55 year olds

Op13a Employees view of company's rating of rewards
Employees view that companies highlight income and security

Op13b Employees view of company's rating of rewards - 28
Op13c Employees view of company's rating of rewards - 38
Op13d Employees view of company's rating of rewards - 48
Op13e Employees view of company's rating of rewards - 55
Younger employees, who don't worry about security, perceive that the companies place emphasis on this aspect

"There clearly needs to be an alignment between employee aspirations and company views"

Op14 How expectations are met by companies
Income/recognition/Promotion are cause for concern, again very high levels of job satisfaction and security .

Op 15a Contact with customers
Op15b Contact with current customer - breakdown
Encouraging amount of contact, with customer(90%), end user(60%) and servicer(55%)

Op16a Training Courses in last 5 years
Op16b Proportion of training for computer packages
Op16c Training courses in last 5 years excluding for computer packages
Training levels very low 60% have had less than 3 courses(excluding for software in the last 5 years)

Op17a Conference and exhibition attendance in last 5 years
Op17b Conference attendance only
Op17c Exhibition attendance only
Op17d Conference attendance by age
Op17e Exhibition attendance by age
Very low levels of attendance less than three data - 91% conferences, 80% exhibitions(true across the age range)
This is not surprising as in the CQ training etc. was not seen as a constraint.
"Where/how is any updating taking place?"

Op18a Experience of work in production/manufacturing areas
Op18b Experience of work in production/manufacturing areas by type
26% have no experience of production or manufacturing areas

Op19 Patents held
20% of a random sample have patents to their name!

Op20 Rewards for patents
60% of companies have no formal reward system for patents

Op21 Details of project work
70 % have an input on budgeting

Op 22a Involvement with innovations - Overall
Op 22b Involvement with innovations - One off
Op 22c Involvement with innovations - Small batch
Op 22d Involvement with innovations - Large batch
Op 22e Involvement with innovations - Large volume
Reducing costs/improving performance priority for all
Ease of manufacture and quality next priority for the large volume companies
Reliability/matching requirements for the low volume companies

Op23a Perceived major drivers for design improvements - Overall
Op23b Perceived major drivers for design improvements - One off
Op23c Perceived major drivers for design improvements - Small batch
Op23d Perceived major drivers for design improvements - Large batch
Op23e Perceived major drivers for design improvements - Large volume
Difference between large and small producers, large producers trying to move forward in all areas

Op24 Constraints against making improvements
Resources followed by late spec changes and lack of co-operation between departments
Computer based tools/software are not seen as a problem, this is completely opposite to the CQ
"Some additional efforts are needed to develop concurrent engineering people type co-operation"

Note: The other section for this question had very few entries, the ones that occurred were no spec at outset(4%), lack of flexibility of people/Politics(4%), Communications too much(3%),too little(3%)

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Produced by Dr G W Owen,, Last update 9th July 1996