The systematic design method calls for the preparation of a requirements list for the design problem, followed by development of a function structure. The functional description of a product is a description at an abstract level, in solution-neutral terms. At the functional stage different design possibilities can be explored by developing functional variants. Two major avenues for this are (a) subdividing functions (divergence), and (b) combining and eliminating functions (convergence). The latter can lead to simpler and cheaper designs through function integration and reduction, respectively. It is discussed with the help of industrial design examples.

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