Design Engineering
Showcase 2021

Amazon

Tags
Product Design
Product Development

Project Details

Student
Ta Ji
Team
Amazon Lab126
Supervisor
Professor Robert Shorten
Role
Product Design Engineer Intern
Sector
Retail and Consumer Goods
Links
LinkedIn
Email

As one of the World’s biggest e-commerce companies, Amazon holds an unlimited client base from software users, third-party sellers, and hardware consumers. It provides me a priceless opportunity to learn the true nature and relationship of product design and validation via solving some practical issues in the workshop and raised my interest in this area. I got engaged in the projects of Fire Tablets and Fire TV to apply my design engineering techniques and thinkings.

Amazon lab126

Demonstration of Design Engineering Thinking and Skills

As a Product Design Engineer at Amazon, I am fortunate to participate in the projects of Fire Tablets and Fire TV, through evaluation, the concept development to NPD delivery, working with Amazon's hardware R&D team in the workshop via applying design engineering techniques and thinkings properly to provide product solutions.

When I started my placement, as I was a fresher in tablet design, I was assigned the task of disassembling the competing tablet products and helped finish the tear-down reports of analysing these products, through measuring the parts by lab tools and doing some literature reviews of design engineering information in the open patents to refine our edge.

As the mission of Amazon promises to provide attractive e-commerce services and products to satisfy target customers’ needs, focusing on price, selection, and convenience, which also fits our Design Engineering Thinkings. Given this, I have approached everything I have done at Amazon with this lens and have sought to add value within development projects with the consideration of the costs, product functions, user experience, and manufacturing efficiencies.

After finishing the intern training, I got engaged in these projects and applied Design Engineering Skills:

- sketching and making CAD models in Creo for concept development,

- conducting test rigs and data analysis for product feasibility, or making DOEs solve technical issues,

- reviewing and modifying the technical drawings,

- making 3D printed prototypes for further prototypes,

- providing support on project management for ensuring that the projects are on track.

Details of working content

Role and Contributions

There are two projects that I participated in:

1. The development of the newest generation of 8 inches Fire Tablet.

2. Integration of the existing Fire TV 3rd product set.

In the project of developing the newest generation of 8 inches Fire Tablet, which aims to reduce the tablet's weight and thickness to improve the overall user experience, as well as reduce warranty repair cost for display crack issues in the last generation, I was mainly responsible for the mechanical design of the tablet display. I collaborated with vendor engineers to conduct the design of experiments (DOE), including making design improvements on the 3D model, conducting mechanical or user testing, analysing the result data as well as checking the data reliability through FEA simulation in Creo Parametric. I also made 3D printed prototypes for analysing the stacking up method. Beyond the development and R&D, I have engaged in administrative work. I joined the project kick-off meeting to help make the overall project schedule. This project has now successfully validated the product prototypes, reached the project goal on time, and prepared for manufacture. Additionally, from the feedback from user testing (beta test), over 23% of subjects feel more comfortable while using the new tablet due to its lightweight. Additionally, the new cover glass material of Al-Si has a higher recycling rate than the Soda-Lime, which makes the product more sustainable.

In another project of integrating the existing Fire TV 3rd product set, I assisted in solving the practical issue of the difficulty in removing the Fire TV 3rd remote battery door when the customer is unboxing that, and the team was aimed to figure out a medium-term mitigation solution and a long-term solution to avoid a similar issue in other projects. As the project was close to the end, my main responsibility was to use the 6 sigma tool in Minitab to analyse the testing results. Meanwhile, I managed the meeting to reviewing 2D technical drawings and communicating with the R&D team and supplier engineers to ensure there were no more mistakes in the design details of our product and make sure the final product meets the industrial standards of ASME.

Summary

In conclusion, it is a great chance to put what I have learned in college to use in the industry. And through the collaboration with engineers, designers, and managers from different teams, some interdisciplinary knowledge is also gained which is beneficial for my personal knowledge accumulation.

Apart from the engineering development, I also found everyone at Amazon has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and wisdom, and the company provides an excellent place for employees with different backgrounds to think outside the box and communicate those ideas. Therefore, this experience also makes me more open to share ideas and question things in the study or life.