Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-9-2020

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Center for Manufacturing Excellence

First Advisor

Jeremy Griffin

Second Advisor

Mike Gill

Third Advisor

Eddie Carr

Relational Format



The purpose of this thesis is to document and discuss the five-stage product development process starting with defining a problem and resulting in manufacturing a final product for sale as it was implemented in the Portable Fire Pit Center for Manufacturing Excellence Senior Capstone Project. This project was carried out over the course of the Fall 2019 and Spring 2020 semesters by a team consisting of three Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering majors and two Undergraduate Accountancy majors. The ultimate goal of the project was to carry out a full production run of the Portable Fire Pit outputting fifteen units meeting retail quality standards. At the onset of the project, a project management plan and product development schedule were created to sequence tasks and proportionally distribute labor and resources over the course of the project. The first step of the project plan was to begin the prototyping phase of the product development cycle. This involved creating an initial product design that included the features required to solve the initial problem and also implement principles of Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA). The second state of the development process was to create a final product design by carrying out market research, making iterative prototypes, and improving the original design. The third stage of development involved making preliminary plans for a full production run, estimating production cost and budget based off of this plan, and developing a mock business plan for our product. The fourth stage of the process involved setting up the process layout and testing a full production run, applying Lean manufacturing principles to increase optimization. The fifth and final stage consisted of ramping up to full production and doing an hour-long production run. The author of this thesis will carry out an analysis of the product development process and discuss the effectiveness of DFMA and Lean manufacturing principles as they were carried out in this project.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.



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