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10 Examples of Design Capacity

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Design capacity is the maximum output of a structure, facility, process, machine, tool or component based on its design. It is the capacity that can be achieved under ideal conditions with unlimited resources such as labor, power, materials and parts. Design capacity is an important consideration in capacity planning because achieving more capacity isn't always a simple matter of adding more inputs. Things have limits. The following are illustrative examples of design capacity.


A large organization is poorly structured such that adding more staff only decreases revenue.


A restaurant is designed for a maximum of 120 seats. In order to achieve its design capacity it requires 12 staff and other inputs such as ample food.


The batch production line of a bakery can produce 12,000 loaves of bread an hour on a fully staffed shift.


A subway platform is designed for no more than 12,000 passengers.


A solar module is designed for 20.1% conversion efficiency under ideal conditions such as intense, direct sunlight when the panels are clean.


A cloud platform is designed for scale such that it could support billions of concurrent users if it were allocated enough resources such as millions of computing units.


A customer support process has a variety of technology and administrative bottlenecks such that it can't be efficiently scaled beyond serving 1,000 customers an hour.


A rain garden can filter up to 40,000 liters of stormwater an hour.


A robot can sort 10,300 recycling items an hour under ideal conditions such as a high density of objects the robot is able to recognize.


A cloud platform designed to scale has a poorly designed component that fails with more than 2,000 concurrent users. The component represents a bottleneck that places a limit on the capacity of the software.
Overview: Design Capacity
The maximum capacity of a design under ideal conditions such access to unlimited resources.
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