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A system for co-ordinating concurrent engineering

Whitfield, R.I. and Coates, G. and Duffy, A.H.B. and Hills, W. (2001) A system for co-ordinating concurrent engineering. In: 13th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 01), 2001-08-21 - 2001-08-23.

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Design of large made-to-order products invariably involves design activities which are increasingly being distributed globally in order to reduce costs, gain competitive advantage and utilise external expertise and resources. Designers specialise within their domain producing solutions to design problems using the tools and techniques with which they are familiar. They possess a relatively local perception of where their expertise and actions are consumed within the design process. This is further compounded when design activities are geographically distributed, resulting with the increased disassociation between an individual designer's activities and the overall design process. The tools and techniques used by designers rarely facilitate concurrency, producing solutions within a particular discipline without using or sharing information from other disciplines, and seldom considering stages within the product's life-cycle other than conceptual, embodiment or detail [1, 2]. Conventional management and maintenance of consistency throughout the product model can subsequently become difficult to achieve since there are many factors that need to be simultaneously considered whilst making a change to the product model.