Concurrent Engineering also referred to as Integrated Product Development or Simultaneous Engineering refers to the process of integrating design and analysis, requirements,production planning,support of product manufacture as well as activities related to disposal in the initial stages of product development cycle …
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Concurrent Engineering also referred to as Integrated Product Development (IPD) or Simultaneous Engineering refers to the process of integrating design and analysis, requirements, production planning, production and procurement, support of product manufacture as well as activities related to disposal in the initial stages of product development cycle (Douglas, 2009). It involves a new comparative design methodology that enhances productivity and results to better overall design. It is meant to make the developers put into consideration all necessary element of the product's life cycle.Douglas (2009) further indicates that concurrent engineering has been designed to overcome problems experienced in traditional engineering approaches concerning serial product development whereby individuals from several departments perform one after the other following the success of the prior development phases. Under serial product development in traditional engineering, the product to be manufactured is first defined by the department involved in engineering design. After this the department of manufacturing engineering then defines the manufacturing processes. This goes on like in that manner until the final product is produced, inspected and approved of the required quality. The process is usually slow, is of low quality, expensive and results in engineering design changes, which further affects the productivity of the company. It also leads to problems of production, product introduction delays and less competitive goods in the market.
According to Stark (1998), concurrent engineering on the other hand, brings together various multi disciplinary operational teams where developers of the product from several functions operate together, in this case in a parallel approach from the initial stages of the project with a single aim of achieving the right things in the right place as fast as possible and as early as possible. Under this approach, a cross-functional team would include different functions representatives like mechanical engineering, systems engineering, electrical engineering, quality department, systems productivity, fabrication productivity, reliability, maintainability and testability, manufacturing, design and layout as well as program management. In other times other department representatives such as marketing, purchasing, quality assurance and field are involved in the process. Clients and suppliers might also be involved in these processes.
Another major success of concurrent engineering is due to the fact that in this approach, the input is gotten from several functional areas as much as possible prior to specification finalization. The result for this is that he product development team would be in a better position to clearly comprehend the requirements of the product as far as mission performance, environmental conditions in operation periods, budgeting and production scheduling are all concerned.
Under such an approach, the multy-displinary groups would be able to take informed and agreed upon decisions regarding the product development, processes involved as well as cost and matter related to product quality. The team or groups can also make several trade-offs between features of design, parts manufacturability, assembly requirements, the required materials, issues of reliability, demands of serviceability and time and cost constraint factors.
Thus concurrent engineering helps in obtaining the design correctly at the initial stages of the product development process, which subsequently reduces the down stream hardships experienced in the workflow. The approach also helps in reducing the need for
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