A Good Design?

Author : Hennie Pieterse

The question came up : What do we define as a good design?

Think of Structures, Devices, Machines, Facilities and other Engineered Products or Facilities found in Intensive Agriculture and Food Production.  For any of these to be of “Good Design” there are at least the following Design Goals that should be met:

Ottevanger Type 1200-1250 Hammermill

A good example of a very well designed Hammer Mill by Ottevanger. It is equipped with Automatic Screen Changing Device and is a good example of a “Good Design” meeting all the Design Goals discussed in this Blog

This is arguably the most important design goal any design should meet.  Especially if you want to call it a “Good Design”.  Any Engineered Product has a function to fulfill, and it is very important that the Designers and Suppliers of such products, machines or facilities understand those functional requirements very well.  Failure to create a design that meets functional requirements may make it useless.  Even if the cost of such a design is low.  And let’s face it : even a relatively “cheap” product could turn out to be “expensive” if it fails to do the job!

Engineering Integrity

The man on the street may associate this with “quality”.  In Engineering Terms it means a Design that meets the Design Criteria for Structural Strength, Durability and the choice of Materials that will optimize Wear and other Operational Characteristics.  Good Engineering Integrity is a reflection of the Professionalism of the Supplier who designed and built the Equipment or other engineered product


And of course a Cost as low as possible is important – but not at the expense of the other Design Goals in this Blog.  Don’t be mislead by not understanding the full Cost implications, as it involves more than just the initial Capital Investment.  Proper evaluation of

  • Capital Cost,
  • Operational Cost,
  • and the Hidden Cost of After Sales Support (for example : downtime when you cannot get Spare Parts in time)

all adds up to give a true reflection of the real Cost!


Whether Equipment, Machinery, or a complete Processing Plant, people will be involved in it.  There will be Operators and Workers executing everyday tasks.  People you rely on.  People whose performance and commitment depend on the immediate environment they find themselves in.  It is therefore important to work with Designers and Suppliers who ensure that the Equipment, Facilities, Processing Facilities and Spaces they design are Ergonomically acceptable, safe, user-friendly and pleasant.

After all, you need happy and motivated people to get the most out of your investment


Engineering Design is a beautiful thing….and a good design looks good!  While investing the money achieving the Design Goals above, we may just as well make it look good.  Architects and Automotive  Designers are very good at that.  There is no reason why Engineered Goods should be different.

So what is a “Good Design” then?…….a balanced blend of all the Design Goals mentioned above!

Contact us today to discuss your Design and Equipment needs.  We Represent World-Class Equipment Suppliers and have a Team of Professionals that can help you maximizing your chances of being Commercially Successful.