This term, ‘hidden design,’ characterizes situations where designers fail to provide comprehensive production information due to tool limitations or excessive workloads. Nevertheless, crafting a piece of furniture necessitates the inclusion of all essential details. Thus, any omissions by the designer must be filled in by participants in the subsequent stages of the production process. These individuals are tasked with generating the necessary information to perform their roles based on the initial information furnished by the designer. For instance, a designer might outline the furniture’s design and specify the panels but leave the assembly instructions, drilling specifics, and other assembly-related details to the shop floor worker. Consequently, the responsibilities for designing and preparing production information are distributed across the entire furniture development chain, rendering a portion of the designer’s work ‘hidden.’
The first issue arises when the shop floor worker must divert a portion of their time from their primary responsibilities. When they find themselves at the CNC center, designing processes rather than executing them, the company’s overall productivity takes a significant hit, resulting in a drop in throughput.
The second issue is the requirement for highly skilled workers to execute these additional tasks. This presents two challenges: a. Elevated labor costs, as lower-skilled workers could suffice for the position. b. Increased difficulty in finding a replacement when such a highly skilled worker falls ill or departs, leading to potential disruptions in production.
The third problem is the introduction of multiple information sources and the subsequent need for supplementation and processing by various stakeholders. This inherently increases the potential for errors and inconsistencies, which are costly to identify and rectify.