2012 Issue 1: Design, Performance & Profitability

What does design mean to you?


Have you ever reflected on how many times you see the word "design" come up in your everyday life?

In advertising we will often read the phrases "designed for life", "design quality" or "modern design". When we criticize, we use words such as "poor design", "outdated design" or "cheap design". But what does design actually mean?


A nice definition for design is "a roadmap or a strategic approach for someone to achieve a unique expectation. It defines the specifications, plans, parameters, costs, activities, processes and how and what to do within legal, political, social, environmental, safety and economic constraints in achieving that objective."


So we tend to associate design with creation, innovation, something new and exciting that will improve our quality of life, but it must be affordable. As you read through this edition of Engineering Design keep in mind how the use of performance polymers from DuPont have had these positive effects on the application's performance while also staying accessible (or affordable) to everyone.


The unique properties of the DuPont materials have not only enabled manufacturers to achieve functional compliance, but also to tap into the personal fashion needs of the consumer, as reflected by the use of DuPont™ Crastin® PBT and DuPont™ Sorona® EP thermoplastic polymer in the artcover GmbH mobile phone cover, where "making things personal" has taken on a whole new meaning.


Transportation of ourselves, or others, is an everyday need, and making that easier and more pleasurable is a key challenge. We can see the advances being made in children's prams, or strollers, in terms of their design and technology where the use of lightweight polymers helps to deliver an overall product that is attractive, convenient and comfortable to both parent and baby. The use of another high tech material, DuPont™ Hytrel® thermoplastic polyester elastomer—by the U.S.-based footwear company SKECHERS—is delivering a step change in efficiency when running (no pun intended) for the same physical effort—a unique expectation.


Sustainability, and therefore "sustainable design", is rapidly becoming a catchword of our times. Later in this issue of Engineering Design, we describe a new hybrid packaging concept that combines the best aspects of two materials—paperboard and high performance DuPont™ Rynite® PET thermoplastic polyester resin—to provide a solution that is lightweight, recyclable and user-friendly.


Finally, to tick all the boxes of safety, health and environment in one application is no mean feat, as can be seen with the renewably-sourced Zytel® RS in a neck support for racing drivers. Now that we could market as "responsible design".


We hope you enjoy reading our latest issue of Engineering Design, which we hope will inspire you to take a fresh look at the world of design, and what it means to you as a manufacturer or end-user. All great designs are a collaboration of ideas and DuPont can help you achieve your ultimate design dream.