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Introduction

  • Christopher Schlick
  • Bruno Demissie
Part of the Understanding Complex Systems book series (UCS)

Abstract

Industrial companies operating today persistently face strong competition and must adapt to rapid technological progress and fast-changing customer needs. Under these conditions, if companies want to gain a competitive advantage in global markets, they must be able to successfully develop innovative products and effectively manage the associated product development (PD) projects. To shorten time-to-market and lower development/production costs, PD projects often undergo concurrent engineering (CE). In their landmark report, Winner et al. (1988) define CE as “a systematic approach to the integrated, concurrent design of products and their related processes, including manufacture and support. This approach is intended to cause the developers, from the outset, to consider all elements of the product life cycle from conception through disposal, including quality, cost, schedule, and user requirements.” A large-scale vehicle development project in the automotive industry offers a good example. In the late development stage, such a project involves hundreds of engineers collaborating in dozens of CE teams. The CE teams are usually structured according to the subsystems of the product to be developed (e.g. body-in-white, powertrain, interior systems, electronics etc.) and are coordinated by systems integration and management teams of responsible engineers who know the entire product (see e.g. Midler and Navarre 2007). Under an integrated approach to concurrent design of products and processes, multi-disciplinary teams are formed to develop recommendable configurations of the intended subsystems. These configurations should satisfy all constraints and contribute the different types of technical expertise and methodological approaches to problem-solving needed in order for a parallel execution of work processes to be successful (Molina et al. 1995). The constraints and requirements imposed on the design by the various engineering disciplines (engineering design, production engineering, control engineering etc.) are discussed by the subject-matter experts in team meetings and are mapped onto specific design parameters in a process of intensive collaboration. To avoid unnecessary system integration problems, in CE the teamwork usually follows a continuous integration rhythm with regular team meetings that are typically held at intervals of just a few weeks. Additional team meetings, e.g. to solve time-critical or quality-critical problems and to find sound compromises for conflicting constraints that have arisen during the design process, are held as needed.

Keywords

Cooperative Work Monte Carlo Experiment Concurrent Engineering Design Structure Matrix Concurrent Design 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Schlick
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bruno Demissie
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Industrial Engineering and ErgonomicsRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  2. 2.Fraunhofer Institute for CommunicationInformation Processing & Ergonomics FKIEWachtbergGermany

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