CIRP Encyclopedia of Production Engineering

2014 Edition
| Editors: The International Academy for Production Engineering, Luc Laperrière, Gunther Reinhart

Product Development

  • Eric Lutters
Reference work entry



Product development is the creation of products with new or different characteristics that offer new or additional benefits to the customer. Product development may involve modification of an existing product or its presentation or formulation of an entirely new product that satisfies a newly defined customer want or market niche (Ullman, 2009; Ulrich & Eppinger, 2004).

Theory and Application

Phases in Product Development

There are many different descriptions of the product development life cycle available in literature. Each of them is valid and has its merit; however, this validity and merit is explicitly related to, for example, the type of product, the type of organization, and the type of project.

In general, however, most representations of the product life cycle distinguish phases that are comparable to the following list:
  1. 1.

    Idea generation (or “fuzzy front end”)

  2. 2.

    Idea screening

  3. 3.

    Concept development and testing

  4. 4.


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  1. Preez du N, Lutters D, Nieberding H (2008) Tailoring the development process according to the context of the project. In: 18th CIRP design conference, 7–9 April 2008, Enschede. Retrieved from Accessed 7 May 2013
  2. Ullman DG (2009) The mechanical design process, 4th edn. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Ulrich KT, Eppinger SD (2004) Product design and development, 3rd edn. McGraw-Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© CIRP 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Engineering Technology, Laboratory of Design, Production and ManagementUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands