Final Design: Detail Design for Manufacture

  • Crispin Hales
  • Shayne Gooch


One of the most difficult things for a design manager to get across to corporate management, the design team, and customers alike is the importance of small details in design. There is a tendency to leave the details to a student assistant, the draftsperson, or perhaps the computer! This is a serious mistake. Most accidents and disasters involving engineering design issues can be traced back to errors, inexperience, or poor judgment in detail design. We have personally investigated many fatal or serious injury accidents in which simple deficiencies in detail design were the direct cause or a major contributor. A few examples are:
  • • Omission of a plastic locking plug on a 3/16-inch diameter screw thread (fatal truck collision).

  • • Internal corrosion of a steel box-section suspension arm (vehicle rollover).

  • • Threading a load-bearing 4 mm machine screw into a sheet metal hole (loss of one eye).

  • • Failure to remove feathering and burrs from a stainless-steel tray (severed nerves in a finger).

  • • Failure to provide anchoring for the fixed end of a cantilevered step (slip and fall back injury).

  • • Use of a cattle clasp as a tow hook on an equipment tether (fatal pipeline accident).

  • • Spring-loaded cable anchored to easily removable door bracket (loss of one eye).


Detail Design Design Team Final Design Design Manager Assembly Instruction 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Crispin Hales
    • 1
  • Shayne Gooch
    • 2
  1. 1.Triodyne Inc.NorthbrookUSA
  2. 2.University of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand

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