Article

Research in Engineering Design

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 112-123

Generalised models of design interation using signal flow graphs

  • Steven D. EppingerAffiliated withSloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Email author 
  • , Murthy V. NukalaAffiliated withSloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • , Daniel E. WhitneyAffiliated withSloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Abstract

Changing customer preferences, demand for quality, and new technologies have led to very short product life cycles. This requires firms to have short product development lead times while keeping product costs low and quality high in order to stay competitive. In this context, we focus on improved understanding of time-consuming design iterations. We are creating tools for modeling product development projects in order to predict the performance of product development organisations. In this paper, signal flow graphs are presented as a flexible tool for design process modeling, and illustrated using an industrial example. Analysis of the model allows computation of the probability distribution of lead time and identification of the key drivers of lead time.

Keywords

Design iteration Design process modeling Product development lead time Signal flow graphs