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The Benefits Of Concurrent Engineering 2.0

Jun 9, 2008
Concurrent Engineering is a system of practices that companies can employ so that their engineering and production departments work together in the most streamlined manner possible.

When the processes between the two groups are organized correctly through a systematic methodology, the work flow and exchange of information is extremely efficient and problems that would otherwise slow down the processes are avoided.

Potential benefits of Concurrent Engineering include a shorter cycle to get new product to market, a quicker turnaround time for issues with product quality that require engineering time and a smaller number of changes made to a product or its process during its life cycle.

Another benefit is that employees then require less time learning how to produce new or improved products, thereby enabling engineers to have higher visibility when it comes to knowing exactly what is going on in the shop floor operations.

Concurrent engineering also produces a continual streamlining of processes so they can continue to be consistently duplicated. Concurrent Engineering 2.0 focuses on the process by which a product is manufactured.

The practices also prioritize the time spent putting together a manufacturing process which works to bring a quality product to market quickly and at a reasonable cost.

The process is considered as important as the product design itself. For example, even if you have the blueprint for the next iPhone in your head, what value is it if you do not take the time to detail the process of bringing your idea to fruition?

So without a validated plan, essentially you plan to fail.

The main ingredients of Concurrent Engineering are integrated tools and data. Though engineering and manufacturing are closely related, each department's tools and data are often managed separately, which can lead to inefficiencies.

With Concurrent Engineering 2.0, the manufacturing data models are created directly from their engineering predecessors with tightly integrated change management.
Integrated processes for managing changes and digital validation of the product and process streamline shop floor changes.

Previously, the manufacturing shop floor would have to basically work around engineering. Often, changes would be tested on the shop floor, only to have to be redone and reworked on later. Integrating the processes eliminates this.

Having a collaborative culture and environment also allows product engineers to spend a lot of time on the shop floor effectively evaluating the success of their designs.

When the value in the corporate culture changes to emphasize reducing the number of changes in the process rather than being able to pump changes out more quickly, then Concurrent Engineering 2.0 strategies works at their best.

So, as complex as the technology and methodology might sound, it basically circles around one idea, that of working together. Perhaps the author of the book All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten really WAS on to something.
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