Concurrent engineering is a dynamic approach to integrated product development that emphasis on the response to customer expectations. it embodies team values of cooperation, trust and sharing, in such a manner that decisions making is by consensus, involving all perspectives in parallel, from the beginning of the product lifecycle.
Basic principles of concurrent engineering
Get a strong commitment from senior management.
Establish unified project goals and a clear business mission.
Develop a detailed plan early in the process.
Continually review your progress and revise your plan.
Develop project leaders that have an overall vision of the project and goals.
Analyze your market and know your customers.
Suppress individualism and foster a team concept.
Establish and cultivate cross-functional integration and collaboration.
Transfer technology between individuals and departments.
Set milestones throughout the development process.
Collectively work on all parts of project.
Reduce costs and time to market.
Complete tasks in parallel.
Road blocks to concurrent engineering
Professionals and their working place culture.
The lack of support from top management
Fear of losing creativity
CE engineering team building
Disadvantage of concurrent engineering
Although concurrent engineering is an important method for handling the time pressures that occur during new product development, rushing products to the market can sometimes be a mistake. First, markets need time to develop. Numerous examples exist where a new product was too early for the market to absorb it or where product variety has reached limits beyond which the product choice decision becomes too complicated for customers. Second, more revolutionary new product development, which often is based on significant technological advances, typically requires longer time horizons to reach completion. Putting too much emphasis on time compression may blind an organization to this basic fact. Third, the conceptual development of new product ideas requires time or "slack." In a high-speed development organization, time-compression imperatives may undermine this need. Therefore, both managers and new product developers need to find a balance between the paradoxical needs for speed and slack in their organizations. Despite its efficiency, concurrent engineering will only prove to be effective when this balance is achieved through the experience and leadership of an organization's senior management.
IBM Rochester, Minnesota
IBM in Rochester has been using the concept of Early Manufacturing Involvement (EMI) to integrate design and manufacturing in the product cycle of midrange computer systems. Rochester is responsible for worldwide hardware and software development, they manufacture midrange computers including the Application System/400, (AS/400), the System/36, (S/36), and the System/38, (S/38). The site also has development and manufacturing responsibility for low-end direct access storage devices (DASD).
Early Manufacturing Involvement (EMI)
An EMI process involves product design personnel and manufacturing personnel working in close partnership throughout the design process to optimize function, manufacturability, cost, and quality in a one-pass design. Throughout the product development cycle of a new computer system, there are key reviews and checkpoints that become part of a comprehensive product plan. Prior to EMI, completed designs were sent to manufacturing for review before being released as official documents. At this late stage in the design, minor modifications could be made, but changes requiring redesign were avoided because of time constraints. Design changes suggested by manufacturing usually focused on ease of manufacture, and reducing part and tooling cost
At the concept level in a product or part design, many different considerations can be incorporated without major impact to total design time. A cooperative effort is needed and timeliness is critical. The goal is a one-pass design. After the initial design concept, changes are usually difficult to incorporate and are often ineffective compromises. Reductions in the overall product cycle of up to 50% have been achieved. . The key EMI goals are to (1) reduce the development/release cycle time, (2) reduce costs and assure quality, and (3) design for manufacturability
The development and manufacturing processes have been merged to become one common, interactive process. This merger has advanced to the point where manufacturing engineering is doing the mechanical design/development work on low-end computer systems. The IBM System/36, Model 5363, announced in October 1987 . This low-cost system was brought from concept to delivery in only 11 months. The development cycle was reduced more than 50% using manufacturing engineering as the mechanical system design team. This was design-manufacturing integration in its purest form!
The future plans
Promotion of concurrent design among the European partners
Consolidation of the integrated design model (IDM)
Distribution of the product IDM to European space industry and the partners as Community software
Assessment of expansion of CE technologies over all project phases
Extension of CDF application to other space systems: payload instruments design activity (IDA)
The boundaries between design, manufacturing, and service no longer exist