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Concurrent Engineering: A Wise Approach

Concurrent engineering is a method of designing and developing products, in which several departments work on different stages of product development simultaneously.
If done correctly, concurrent engineering increases the efficacy of product development by reducing time to market and overall costs while maintaining or even improving the final product quality. The idea of concurrent engineering has been refined and practiced widely in the past few decades, and now serves as the backdrop for many successful corporate systems across the globe.

Concurrent Engineering - A Wise ApproachThe basic idea behind concurrent engineering is two-fold. First, all elements involved in the life cycle of a product should be considered early in the process. These may include function, production, assembly, quality control, maintenance, disposal or environmental impact Second is the premise that all design activities should take place at the same time. For example, engineer start to design the product, while the marketing team works on advertising and messaging. At the same time, support teams can work on after-sale relationships and product support, designers can work on packaging and supply chain, and so on.

If you are designing a tool or part, concurrent engineering encompasses the entire life cycle of the product including establishing user requirements, providing concept of the design, computing models for effectiveness, creating a physical prototype, testing the prototype, and eventually completing the manufacturing of the product. This streamlined process can save a significant amount of time, and therefore a significant amount of money.

The concept of concurrent engineering has certain advantages. It encourages collaboration and communication between all stakeholders in the process. It reduces the time and cost of the product development cycle process, and helps to increase productivity by correcting mistakes in real time without having to scrap the process and start over again. The ability to pivot to improve and enhance product engineering means better quality in the end.

There are also disadvantages to concurrent engineering. It is a complicated process that can fail if communication between teams falls short. When a mistake is made, it impacts the work of everyone in the process, not just the environment that originated the error.

The Toolroom can be an integral part of your team when concurrent engineering is your goal. Our expert staff, advanced technology and superior service mean that turnaround is short and questions are answered right away. Our plastics injection molding company has served the St. Louis area and the United States for decades, fulfilling tooling needs from conception to completion. To find out how The Toolroom will be a part of your well oiled machine, call us today at (573) 437-4154 or email info@thetoolroom.com.

 

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