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Collaborative Design Approach in Product Design and Development

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Abstract

This chapter presents an integrated framework for distributed and collaborative environment, which could assist organizations to achieve integrated design goals. The proposed system emphasizes the integration of the software tools and the resources involved in the design process to collaborate the geographically dispersed design teams and vendors. The advancement in information technology (IT) is the driving force for the development of this environment. Also, the early participation of vendors in the design process is considered critical in order to improve the product quality and reduce the development cycle time.

Advances in IT have enabled designers to more effectively communicate, collaborate, obtain, and exchange a wide range of design resources during development [1]. Many manufacturing companies are publishing their product information on the Internet. The network-oriented design environment is a new design paradigm for product development. An integrative framework that enables designers to rapidly construct performance models of complex problems can provide both design insight and a tool to evaluate, optimize, and select better alternatives. Furthermore, a design problem constructed from modeling components made available over Internet might facilitate the collaborative development of analytical system models in addition to the exchange of design information. A well-defined integrated model will predict the required product properties and evaluate alternative solutions in order to meet the defined design objectives and performances.

Key to the analysis of any problem is the identification of what functions are performed and the relationships between them [18]. A collaborative engineering development process includes a set of activities and functions arranged in a specific order with clearly defined inputs and outputs. Each activity in the process will take a set of inputs and transforms it into an output of some value. The process is considered efficient, when the output of the process satisfies the general customer and product requirements and meets management objectives and cost. New technologies and tools along with advancement in IT are helping these organizations in several ways [2, 17]. However, there is no established generic implementation model for wide range of industries.

Software vendors may provide “custom” software packages for individual firms. Different industries have different product development strategies, which demand a generic framework that will help them collaborate efficiently irrespective of their product, organizational structure, and/or geographical location. Two of the more important elements in this changing environment are increased product sophistication and variation. Minimizing the total costs and being quick to develop and market new products is the key for survival. Product development is a complex process requiring expertise from several fields. This will demand integrating the diverse functional areas of an organization on a common platform [22].

In this chapter, an integrative framework that would enable the design teams rapidly construct performance models of complex design problems is presented. This framework can provide both design insight and a tool to evaluate, optimize, and select better alternatives. Interaction between the elements at every level of design is a critical issue. The framework should not be limited only to internal function integration but it should also consider the external functions such as vendors. The vendors have precise and detailed knowledge for their items. This expertise should be incorporated in the main development system to ensure and optimize the product as a complete system. The templates for different processes and/or procedures should be designed systematically to assist in evaluating and optimizing the design alternatives through proper integration and analysis.

Keywords

  • Design Problem
  • Product Development
  • Design Team
  • Optimization Module
  • Collaborative Design

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Kamrani, A.K. (2008). Collaborative Design Approach in Product Design and Development. In: Kamrani, A.K., Nasr, E.S.A. (eds) Collaborative Engineering. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-47321-5_1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-47321-5_1

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