Function is the purpose for which the product is made. Identification of the basic functions and determination of the cost currently being spent on them are the two major considerations of value analysis.
Function identifies the characteristics which make the product/component/ part/item/device to work or sell. “Work functions” lend performance value while “sell functions” provide esteem value.
Verbs like “support”, “hold”, “transmit”, “prevent”, “protect”, “exhibits”, “control”, etc., are used to describe work functions, while “attract”, enhance”, “improve”, “create”, etc., are used to describe “sell” functions. For example, in a “bus driver cabin”, the
functional analysis of some of the parts are given in Table
Functional Analysis of Some Parts of a Bus Driver Cabin
Component of study Functional analysis
Verb Noun Steering
wheel Control Direction Gear box
Change Speed Brake system Stop
Vehicle Wiper Clear Water
Horn Make Sound
Side mirror Show Side traffic
1Classification of the functions
Rarely do all functions assume equal importance. Usually, some functions are more important than others. Functions can be classified into the following three categories:
1. Primary function
2. Secondary function
3. Tertiary function
1. Primary functions are the basic functions for which the product is specially designed to achieve. Primary functions, therefore, are the most essential functions whose non-performance would make the product worthless, e.g. a photo frame exhibits photographs, a chair supports weight, a fluorescent tube gives light.
2. Secondary functions are those which, if not in-built, would not prevent the device from performing its primary functions, e.g., arms of a chair provide support for hands. Secondary functions are usually related to convenience. The product can still work and fulfill its intended objective even if these functions are not in-built and yet they may be necessary to sell the product.
3. Tertiary functions are usually related to esteem appearance. For example, Sunmica top of a table gives esteem appearance for the table.
ü Let us consider a single example of painting a company bus to explain all the above three functions. Here, the primary function of painting is to avoid corrosion.
ü The secondary function is to identify the company to which the bus belongs by the colour ofthe paint (e.g. blue colour for Ashok Leyland Ltd.).
ü The tertiary function is to impart a very good appearance to the bus by using brilliant colours.