A cross-functional, team-based approach in which the product and the manufacturing process are designed and configured within the same time frame, rather than sequentially. Ease and cost of manufacturability, as well as customer needs, quality issues, and product-life-cycle costs, are taken into account earlier in the development cycle. Fully configured concurrent engineering teams include representation from marketing, design engineering, manufacturing engineering, and purchasing, as well as supplier—and even customer—companies.
What is Concurrent Engineering?
Concurrent Engineering: A Team-Based Approach to Efficient Product Development
Concurrent Engineering is a cross-functional, team-based approach that revolutionizes the traditional product development process. Unlike the sequential approach, where product design and manufacturing processes are developed one after the other, Concurrent Engineering integrates these two aspects simultaneously. This approach ensures that the ease and cost of manufacturability, customer needs, quality issues, and product-life-cycle costs are considered right from the beginning of the development cycle.
In the traditional approach, product design is completed before manufacturing engineers get involved. This sequential process often leads to inefficiencies, as design decisions may not take into account the practicalities of manufacturing. This can result in costly redesigns, delays, and even compromised product quality. Concurrent Engineering eliminates these issues by involving all relevant stakeholders from the start.
A fully configured concurrent engineering team comprises representatives from various departments, including marketing, design engineering, manufacturing engineering, and purchasing. In some cases, even suppliers and customers are included in the team. This diverse representation ensures that all perspectives and requirements are considered during the product development process.
By involving manufacturing engineers early on, Concurrent Engineering enables them to provide valuable input regarding the manufacturability of the product. They can identify potential challenges, suggest design modifications for ease of production, and estimate manufacturing costs. This early collaboration helps avoid costly design changes later in the process and ensures that the product can be efficiently manufactured.
Furthermore, Concurrent Engineering emphasizes the importance of considering customer needs and product-life-cycle costs during the development cycle. By involving marketing representatives and even customers themselves, the team can gather valuable insights and feedback. This customer-centric approach ensures that the final product meets or exceeds customer expectations, leading to higher customer satisfaction and market success.
In summary, Concurrent Engineering is a team-based approach that brings together various stakeholders to design and configure products and manufacturing processes simultaneously. By involving representatives from marketing, design engineering, manufacturing engineering, and purchasing, as well as suppliers and customers, this approach ensures that all aspects of product development are considered from the beginning. The benefits of Concurrent Engineering include improved manufacturability, reduced costs, enhanced product quality, and increased customer satisfaction. Embracing Concurrent Engineering can lead to more efficient and successful product development in today's competitive business landscape.