What is Concurrent Engineering ? Benefits of Concurrent Engineering

Concurrent engineering is 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 to disposal, including quality, cost, schedule, and user requirements.

Concurrent engineering or Simultaneous Engineering is a methodology of restructuring the product development activity in a manufacturing organization using a cross functional team approach and is a technique adopted to improve the efficiency of product design and reduce the product development cycle time. This is also sometimes referred to as Parallel Engineering. Concurrent Engineering brings together a wide
spectrum of people from several functional areas in the design and manufacture of a product. Representatives from R & D, engineering, manufacturing, materials management, quality assurance, marketing etc. develop the product as a team. Everyone interacts with each other from the start, and they perform their tasks in parallel. The team reviews the design from the point of view of marketing, process, tool design and procurement, operation, facility and capacity planning, design for manufacturability, assembly, testing and maintenance, standardization, procurement of components and sub-assemblies, quality assurance etc as the design is evolved. Even the vendor development department is associated with the prototype development. Any possible bottleneck in the development process is thoroughly studied and rectified. All the departments get a chance to review the design and identify delays and difficulties.

The departments can start their own processes simultaneously. For example, the tool design, procurement of material and machinery and recruitment and training of manpower which contributes to considerable delay can be taken up simultaneously as the design development is in progress. Issues are debated thoroughly and conflicts are resolved amicably.

concurrent-engineering

Concurrent Engineering (CE) gives marketing and other groups the opportunity to review the design during the modeling, prototyping and soft tooling phases of development. CAD systems especially 3D modelers can play an important role in early product development phases. In fact, they can become the core of the CE. They offer a visual check when design changes cost the least.

Read More : AutoCAD And Drafting related interview Questions For Mechanical Students

Why concurrent engineering?

  • Increasing product variety and technical complexity that prolong the product development process and make it more difficult to predict the impact of design decisions on the functionality and performance of the final product.
  • Increasing global competitive pressure that results from the emerging concept of reengineering.
  • The need for rapid response to fast-changing consumer demand.
  • The need for shorter product life cycle.
  • Large organizations with several departments working on developing numerous products at the same time.
  • New and innovative technologies emerging at a very high rate, thus causing the new product to be technological obsolete within a short period.

CE is the application of a mixture of all following techniques to evaluate the total life-cycle cost and quality.
1. Axiomatic design
2. Design for manufacturing guidelines
3. Design science
4. Design for assembly
5. The Taguchi method for robust design
6. Manufacturing process design rules
7. Computer-aided DFM
8. Group technology
9. Failure-mode and effects analysis
10. Value engineering
11. Quality function deployment

Tools For Concurrent Engineering :

Presently, IT vendors offer a variety of tools for implementing some form of concurrent engineering. The tools can be broken into the following main technological groups:
• Knowledge based engineering, production tools and communication tools
• Relational database management systems for data management
• Work flow automation and product life cycle management (PLM) systems
• Decision support systems
• Enterprise resource planning systems

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