Concepts of concurrent engineering

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.


In order the manufacturers and the sectors of the construction is to move there is one way which is to adopt the philosophy of concurrent engineering (CE), better than using the masters of other companies in the provision chain. This assignment will outline and discusses the concepts of concurrent engineering (CE) and its philosophy and its relations with supply chains.

1) Introduction to concurrent engineering

Concurrent engineering (CE) is a method that is used in the product development process. It is different than the traditional approach from the product development in which it uses simultaneous, something that sequential, processes. By finishing the tasks in paralelamente, the product development can be obtained more efficiently and in substantial saving in costs.

In the traditional approach finishing all the physical manufacture of a prototype before realizing any test, but In the concurrent engineering it allows to design and multiple analyses to happen at the same time, and at different times, before the real unfolding. This multidisciplinary approach accentuates work in equipment with the use of cross-functional equipment, and allows so that the employees work in the end of collaboration in all the aspects of a project of the beginning.

Also known like the iterative method of the development, concurrent engineering requires the continuous revision of the progress of equipment and the frequent revision of the plans of the project.

The analysis reasoned behind this creative, modern approach is that whichever previous those errors can be shortages, easiest and less expensive they are to correct.

The concurrent engineering professionals explain from their experience that this system of management and design offers several advantages, including the quality of the increasing product for the end user, faster times of the product development, and lower costs for the manufacturer and the consumer.

There are some disadvantages associated to the putting in initial practice of concurrent engineering, including the necessity of the considerable reconstruction of organization and the extensive retraining of workers. Such potentially breaking changes and requisite aggregates of work can be fulfilled resistance of in charge and other employees. Also, there are generally considerable difficulties in data of transference between employees in diverse departments that can require additional pursuit of computer software applications. Besides these significant initial investments, the organizations whom they adopt a concurrent model of the work of engineering must typically wait for several years before considering the advantages of this transition.

2) History of Concurrent Engineering

There are many alternative definitions are available for concurrent engineering, but this list is quite typical. The increasing of the role of manufacturing process on the design of process of product design, the formation of cross-functional equipment to obtain the development process, a concentration in on client during the development process, and the use of the implementation time as source of competitive advantage is all the part of the definition.

All the products have a necessity to incorporate the restrictions imposed by the process of manufacture in the product design. Depending on the manufacture consideration for the process, these effects can be codified in formal or computerized rules, or can be transported with individual experience and expert work. Defining these concerns in the early design in the development process creates the opportunity to reduce manufacture costs and to improve quality of the product.

The method to obtain the integration of the design with other functions is often with the use of cross-functional teams. These teams can include to people with masters in the excellent production, commercialization, finances, service or other areas, this depends on the type of product. Another important functional barrier is the separation between the engineering designer and the client. Under same philosophy to eliminate the barrier of the design-manufacture, the designer can make more responsive to desires of the client and such way create a success product more and this is known like integration of the design-commercialization.

The implementation time has demonstrated to be a significant facet of the modern competition. By Diminishing the time of obtaining the product the company/signature can respond to the tendencies of the market or to the new built-in technologies quickly. Decreasing the implementation time creates an advantage of the market for those companies that can produce products quickly.

All these ideas are the fundamental of the concurrent engineering and it have been discussed in Literature during many years before the appearance of the concurrent movement of engineering.

The product designs have existed for while the production in mass has existed. At the beginning, a division of work of the intellectual appeared by whom the designer was responsible to present/display the design and the manufacturer was responsible to make the product real. Due to this division there is the opportunity so that the designer of the product works in the ignorance of manufacturer' constraints.

And then the designer became blamed by throwing the design over the wall which separates design of the manufacture and this design that is thrown on the proverbial wall is generally difficult and expensive to produce, and it does not adjust necessarily to desires of the market.

This functional separation and its resulting injurious effect on the resulting product design that could be repeated with other functions (such as commercialization, maintenance or others).The solution for this situation is to have the designer to be more involved in the other concerns inside and outside the organization in who he works. The engineering writers have implored that these barriers should be eliminated. There have been several different reasons to their imploration that the role of the manufacturing concerns in the design process must be increased. More frequently repeated between these reasons they are an increasing level of competition, the role of the new process of manufacture, and the necessity to reduce implementation time of the development. All these justifications to push concurrent engineering ideas have deep historical antecedents. These justifications are discussed down.

2.1 Increased Competition

A justification given for the necessity of the increasing cooperation in the process of the product development is an increasing level of competition. There have been demands that the competition level has increased recently occasionally when we did not consider recent more.

For example, a claim is that the competition level has increased from the start of century of the nineteenth and the modern companies cannot be allowed not to pay attention to the design-manufacturing interaction. Similar, another say is that the one of high level of the competition in 1950's required that the personal of the design and the manufacture cooperate in the new product development. The economic competition is and has been always fierce now and this effect is not new.

2.2 New Production Methods

Whereas the new methods of production enter in good condition gets to be important to get the knowledge on the new processes of production and its effects on the resulting product design to take advantage, and responds to the limitations of the new processes. The knowledge on these processes should be available for the designer of the product. This knowledge is often resident in the engineer of the production. Therefore, the situation where the new processes of production are used will be often important part to make sure that the design engineers work close by with the engineers of the production.

Between new processes of manufacture, the development of the automatic techniques of the assembly has been mentioned frequently as to require of high level of integration between the design and manufacture. The new processes of manufacture are being developed continuously. Each new manufacturing process requires the close collaboration between the designer and the manufacturing engineer

2.3 Lead Time

One of the first motivations for a concurrent engineering approach to the product development is a desire to shorten the total time that takes to bring a product to the market. The notion that the length of the development cycle is an important competitive advantage and that the direction of all the aspects of the problem of the design could take at the same time as a shortened development cycle is a rule of many years. In summary, the claim reasons of the necessity of the integration of the economic competition is the new processes of production, and the shortening implementation time are not new

3) Importance of Concurrent Engineering

Concurrent engineering is important and this is because the following:

  • It takes the products for successful
  • Like work engineers, you will work in a concurrent atmosphere of engineering
  • Necessity to understand the tools and techniques
  • Increasing role of the process of manufacturing in decisions of product design

    Formation of cross-functional equipment

  • concentrate on the client products requirements
  • Implementation time like competitive advantage

4) Traditional Engineering versus Concurrent Engineering

In traditional engineering less period of time is past relatively for defining the product on another hand the relatively long time is spent to design the product and awhile amazingly long time is often needed to readjusts the product. The key to shorten the time of the total design is to define better product and the best document the design process. Traditionally, the development of a product had been seen as a cycle of plan,do,check then Adjust.Concurrent engineering is a process in which the appropriate disciplines are trusting to work reciprocally to conceive, to approve, to develop, and to execute programs of the product that the meeting predetermined objectives. The figure down is comparison between the sequential, centralized and concurrent design

This one is the relatively recent term that is applied to the philosophy of design of engineering of the cross-functional cooperation to create the products that are better, more cheaply and it is engaged in more quickly to put in the market. This new tendency joins technical and nontechnical disciplines such as engineering, commercialization and accounting. Always concentrating in the satisfaction of the client, these representatives work together in the definition of the product that will make.

Therefore concurrent engineering can be defined as:

  • A philosophy of the product development: Multiple design integration
  • A method of product design: Integration of multidisciplinary people in the equipment of design
  • A method to lead people: The design of what imagine in people
  • Which is not concurrent engineering:
  • It is not “on wall”
  • Nor “of the wall” (it is being used and it is here remaining)
  • The goal of concurrent engineering is to improve the interactive work of diverse disciplines that affect a product.

    The following are some of the advantages of concurrent engineering:

  • It reduces the life cycle of product - the procedure of redesign
  • It reduces the production cost - results of the minimization of the life cycle of product life cycle of product
  • Maximizes the quality of the product initially - spending more time and money in the cycle of design and making sure that the selection of the concept is optimized; the company can increase the perspective to give a product of quality to the client.
  • Team Work - the human resources is working together for a common product.
  • The several organizations follow a plethora of product and development cycle of process. Characterizing the phases of the life cycle of the product development helps to put in perspective some of involved organization issues.

The phases are:

  • Declaration of mission (Mission statement): also it is known as brifr of the design. I must contain a general description of the product, the segments of target market, and of the categories of the client and specify the quota of market of the goals of business for, the margins of benefit and the projected Life cycle of the product.
  • Definition of the market and the concept: The demands of the consumer are identified by several techniques of the market study; the studies of the test are conducted, identifies the requirement of functional technical design, the design and the viability of the manufacture are solved and the valuations of costs project.
  • Generation and selection the system level concept: the several concepts of design are generated that satisfy the requirements with functional design. It designs the satisfaction of these requirements in terms of quality, the cost is selected and the delivery and the architecture of the product are solved.
  • Detailed product design: The detailed specification of the dimensions of the product, the materials and the tolerances that are made. The special components and standard are identified
  • Test and refinement of the prototype: the prototypes of the selected design will be tested for the viability of the functionality, the manufacturing and the assembly, and also for the cost.
  • Planning of process, planning of production and control: The processes of real production of the end deign are planned. The plans of the control of production and the quality assurance are elaborated.
  • Ramp-up and refinement of the production: in this the final phase of the production is finished in order it familiarity and the training manpower, discovering the correction of the production problems before complete level of the production is reached. Later, the product is launched.

5) Approaches to implement the concurrent engineering


The team consists of designers and others of related areas. the team members are selected for their capacity to contributes in the design of a product, identifying potential problems early in the design stage. The progresses in hardware and software, have given to members the capacity to work in designs and to consider the effects of diverse qualities, on the final design. For the approach to the team-based work, they require to an team of multiple functions and is also desirable to educate the members of team in the philosophy of concurrent engineering.


The team -based approach can be executed easily, but it has problems:

  • How to handle to a team effectively
  • Some members could have limited knowledge
  • It can be expensive to maintain to a team

Whereas the computers obtain more complex and faster, the new tools begin to emerge that they incorporate the concurrent philosophy of engineering in associate the hardware and software thus allowing that the designers change to the product design with respect to the life cycle of products. A constraint programming language is the onethat has been developed so that to the designers to consider all the implications of the life cycle related to the product (Bahler and others, 1990).

6) Requirements for Concurrent Engineering to be viable

6.1 Overcoming Traditional Barriers

Beginning and maintaining the concurrent engineering is not an easy task. It demands the care, the discipline and the commission by the whole organization, of the management superior to the rows inferiors. It takes the education in all the levels from the organization on the concurrent engineering so that all speak a common language. The spectacular change to the traditional practices is also a necessity and the short term center of the business cannot exist in the context of the concurrent engineering that pleads continuous improvements.

6.2 Teamwork Development and Interaction

Since the team work is the dominant essence of the concurrent engineering, the process to select to the team should be dealt seriously and with the precaution. Composing of the team of several disciplines in an organization must be able to share ideas, to communicate freely and to work from the beginning cohesive with a right of the common objective. The members of team of interdisciplinary groups must rove through the traditional departmental borders, for unconstrained by the arbitrary barriers, communicate their concepts, make recommendations and negotiate conflicts to bring problems to ignite early. It defines the goals more early possible to determine a vision common to allow the alignment of intentions. The effectiveness of the work in team depends on the distribution of ideas and goals beyond immediate allocations and departmental loyalties. It is important to observe that the work in team and the distribution are due to value just as highly as technical capacity and creativity and have to be considered as an integral part of engineer evaluation of operation.

6.3 Involvement of Outside Influences

In order to develop close relationships with the clients and the suppliers, understanding its requirements and drawing on its contributions to understand better what and how to design. Being nearer clients will provide one better understanding of its requirements and company capacities to cover and to satisfy those demands. The close work with the suppliers adds its experience with zero cost to the organization. In fact, they often can, being expert in its respective fields, to suggest less expensive ways better and to make things. On the other hand, the information of suppliers is useful for the valuation of the project during the design stage. In addition, such relations facilitate manufacture practices just in time.

6.4 Co-evolution

Many implied activities in the manufacture of a product of their concept, design, making to the end item, are interdependent and they are due to see altogether. They must be worked ignited concurrently to facilitate an appropriate analysis of compensation that takes to the optimization of process design, to the requirements in conflict and the violations of the constraint of being identified and being solved.

6.5 Continual Improvement

In order to adopt a philosophy of doing it right and obtaining it better. The center of improvements must be applied in product and the processes implied in producing the product this possible aid to express the organization of the way of the fire fighting to the way of the prevention.

6.6 Information Sharing and Management

It must have an efficient system of the distribution of information such that the members of a team can accede to all the corporative facilities and to the information of the work carried out by the several teams that is necessary to design, to prove, to make and to support the product on their life cycle. All the excellent aspects of the design process are due to register and to document for the future references.

6.7 Togetherness

All the members of the teams must be established ideally near each other. This would animate communications and also it foments spirit of the group of the responsibility and the togetherness. If the positioning of the network is not possible to have each in great then proximity it must use to interchange the information. Alternatively, the team of the product development can accompany the movements by the product with its design and phases of development that gain experience throughout the way.

6.8 Integration of frameworks and Tools

It integrates the frames and the computerized tools like the packages of CAD/CAM/CAE that give the transparent access to the tools related of the use and to the services of the part available to the team. It facilitates the process to transfer programs of the CAD/CAE in the machines to eliminate errors of the transcription in the manufacture upon the manufacture and of the assembly.

6.9 Empower

In order to authorize individuals or to the team to make necessary decisions when it is invited in diverse stages of the product design, It has been observed that the empowerment could destraillar the maximum capacity of the individuals or of the team authorized that did the dear and connected sensation to them with the organization, of such better way emitting their operation and commitment.

7) Examples of Concurrent Engineering

The aeronautical systems group at “Lockheed Corporation” recently developed and integrated of Corporation called “Calfab”. This mini-factory uses the automated disposition and the manufacture and has shortened the time that takes for the design and the manufacture of metal pieces of leaf as of 52 days 2 days - a reduction of the 96 percent. Used metal to travel 2500 feet between the several machines and now travels only 150 feet. There are few lazy manufacturing companies that have not pointed at least a reduction of the 50 percent in the time that takes to send a new product of the idea to the production. The companies such “Xerox” has obtained this goal already. Few organizations have pushed east concept the point of having a strategy of corporative design or a way to project the design and the planning full-range of all products five years in the future, but this one is coming. It is the rare company that it has a strategy of the innovation that includes decisions on the business and new products, the risk, and the production. The good ideas have a unique quality of the motivation. People obtain moved envelope they and will be possible competition and discord on her origin. However, the majority of the ideas - good or bad never they are acted on any close individual, groups, and, especially, companies.

8) Important factors in Concurrent Engineering Practice

8.1 Organizational Factor

a. Cross-functional Teams :

The members of project team gain one better understanding of the priorities of the project and process discipline, doing the visible risks and commitments for a better control. The team Is consisted of experts of engineering design, the production, the commercialization and any other functional area that has an interest acquired in the development project. They form to work in a specific project, and remain next to the team through development of the product. This approach seems more recent, because 'has been discussed through the years forties, fifties, and sixties, like viable way to obtain the work of complex development.

b. Liaison Personnel :

The connection of the personal are nonmember of any functional piece of an organization, but something the people who able and are prepared to approach the editions that cross functional boundaries of organization. The personal of the connection full-time have like their work the coordination of the different functions. Under this approach, they make the ways primary obtain the informative transmission between the functional areas.

c. Job Rotation :

The rotation of work means to turn personal between the functional categories. They assign these personal temporarily or permanently outside his customary functional specialty that is a manufacture engineer will work with the design engineers or vice versa. Thus it is possible to integrate the several knowledge bases without realizing significant structural changes to the organization. The rotation of work seems to have useful advantages of integration.

8.2 Some Helpful rule based methods:

a. Product Design Methods

· Design for Manufacturing (DFM) -

DFM tries to reduce to the minimum the content of manufacturing information of the product design within the restrictions imposed by the functionality and the operation.

· Minimize the total number of parts

Simplifies the design to make sure that the remaining pieces are easy to make, to mount, to direct and to maintain Standardizes as far as possible to facilitate desirable characteristics of produceability such as simplified interoperability, exchange capacity, interface, effective consolidation of pieces and function, availability of components and so on

* Design for Quality -

it can intentionally be executed in the passage of the system design designing the product and the process to be tolerant of the variation

* Design for Cost -

it is essential that the industrial organizations have analysis of cost and viable and responsive control systems. The effective analysis of the costs of the product or the project and the capacity to execute to the management of the cost control includes the management of the cost of the product or the project, and this one requires knowledge and an understanding of the elements of cost and its sensitivity to the several parameters of control. The cost analysis forms the base for the cost control and without exact and opportune data of cost, the control of effective cost is impossible. The more exact and more opportune data of cost are useless unless they are joined with an effective control mechanism of cost.

* Design for Assembly (DFA) -

The searches to reduce to the minimum the cost of the assembly within pressures imposed by other requirements of design. DFA has been the departure point for the development of a corporative philosophy of DFM and the change of the culture accompanies that it.

* Design for Safety -

The designer must develop the habit constantly to evaluate the design for the security, considering not only the design itself but the personal implied in the manufacture of the product, using the procedure, and in maintaining and the repair of the product or the system as well as the end user or the buyer. To develop to the processes of manufacture as well as the maintenance and the procedures of early operation during the design process will attend security problems that reveal in a while in which measured corrective they are possible to be taken in the minimum cost

* Design for Reliability

The Reliability is defined as the probability for which a device or a component of system will be realized successfully for :

  • A given range of conditions of operation
  • A specific environmental condition
  • Awhile of prescribed economic survival

· Design for X -

Help to ensure that parts and products are correctly designed to be produced using a particular production process or method such as plastic injection molding or sheet metal stamping.

It helps to make sure that the pieces and the products are correctly designed to be produced using a process or a particular method of production as plastic seal of the moulding under pressure or the metal of leaf.

b. Integrated Computer Analysis

This is based on the recognition that the passages in the development of a manufactured product are correlated and can be modeled with effectiveness using the computers. This relation comes around not only from the characteristics of the piece that are made but also of the processes, the specifications, the instructions and of the data that define and direct each passage in the manufacture process.

9) Product prototyping and Concurrent engineering

Concurrent engineering uses the tools to obtain the communication of the design and to facilitate the process. Many of these tools include the modeled one, the creation of a fast prototype, and control systems of the document. The planning systems are used to help to develop the material channels and to handle valuations of the production. The creation of a fast prototype, and the software of control of the document for the putting in practice is very important in of concurrent engineering. The digital world has moved at a new level in the development of the engineering design. The recent advances in creation of a fast prototype are transforming the engineers of the way and the manufacturers are approaching design and the development of manufacture. Then the companies and the personnel directing adopt the solid modeled one, can hook to the development and the validation of the totally digital design. The implications are reduced costs of the development, reduced readjustment, and improved visualization of the product. An additional tool put in the product development and the equipment are the use of the creation of a fast prototype after digital validation of the design. This allows that we take what we thought we could outside have perfected in print of the computer and `towards a prototype of operation in a question of hours without the equipment of the pre-production or the expensive processes. The printed part resulting is 3 dimensional ones, the plastic part that can be really used in the use. The pieces can be mounted, be held, be beaten, be sanded, and be painted to watch and to feel exactly like the attempt of product calculation. These plastic pieces can be used, for example, with the validation of the assembly of the design, the real validation of manufacture, molds or the components of manufacture for the professional operations, commercialization, fairs, and the verification short of the design of the client.


  • R. A. Sprague, K. J. Singh and R. T. Wood (Mar '91). Concurrent engineering in product development. IEEE DESIGN AND TEST OF COMPUTERS, pp 6-13.
  • Raymond T. Yeh (OCT. '92). Notes on concurrent engineering. IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON KNOWLEDGE AND DATA ENGINEERING, v41, n5, pp 407-414..
  • A. Rosenblatt and G. F. Watson (JUL.'91). Concurrent engineering. IEEE SPECTRUM, pp 22-37.
  • D. Stewart (MAY '93). Concurrent development puts projects on target. ELECTRONIC DESIGN, pp 61-66.
  • S. S. Chanan and M. Unny (1994). CONCURRENT ENGINEERING: Concepts, Implementation and Practice. Chapman & Hall.
  • C. G. M. Landon (1993). CONCURRENT ENGINEERING DESIGN: Integrating the Best Practices for Process Improvement. Dearborn, Michigan, Society of Manufacturing Engineers..
  • L. N. James and E.W. Daniel (1989). CONCURRENT DESIGN OF PRODUCTS & PROCESSES: A Strategy for the Next Generation in Manufacturing. McGraw -Hill.
  • Edited by H.R. Parsaei & W.G. Sullivan(1993).Concurrent Engineering: Contemporary Issues and Modern Design Tools. Chapman & Hall.?K. Andrew (1993). CONCURRENT ENGINEERING: Automation, Tools, and Techniques. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Ahluwalia, R.S. and Ji, P. (1990) Process planing in concurrent engineering environment, 1990 International Industrial Engineering Conference Proceedings, pp. 535-40.
  • Charles, D.P.S.T. (1989) Simultaneous engineering, AUTOFACT '89, Conference Proceedings, Detroit, Michigan, October 30-Nov. 2, 14.1-14.6. ^ Ma, Y., Chen, G., Thimm, G., “Paradigm Shift: Unified and Associative Feature-based Concurrent Engineering and Collaborative Engineering”, Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing, DOI 10.1007/s10845-008-0128-y