Simultaneous Engineering

Article

Clancy, John   (1991, ASQC)   Valisys Corporation, Santa Clara, CA

Annual Quality Congress, Milwaukee WI    Vol. 45    No. 0
QICID: 9636    May 1991    pp. 143-147
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Article Abstract

This abstract is an edited version of the author's original.

American managers often lack global competitiveness because they have been automating and optimizing in an area that represents only 10-15% of product cost - reducing touch labor. Today, 90% of product cost is locked in at the design stage, before manufacturing decisions begin. The result is a manufacturing system that has little hope of significantly impacting product cost, quality, and time to market. This paper encourages a "simultaneous engineering" approach that integrates interdepartmental priorities and closes the "engineering gap" between marketing inspiration and manufactured product on the market.

Simultaneous engineering is not a technology; it is a people and communication issue. Simultaneous engineering blends and coordinates the functional areas within the company at an early stage to get everyone's input before the design document is finalized. This method is based on the corporate-wide use of integrated databases and information systems. It incorporates management practices to ensure that customer needs are designed into the product and that the factory (including the company's suppliers) can effectively produce the product. The concurrence of design requirements and producibility constraints is the very essence of simultaneous engineering.

A case study from Douglas Aircraft Company demonstrates how this method can result in big dollar savings by eliminating unnecessary work in the areas of design, manufacturing, and inspection.

Keywords

Case study,Computers,Design,Engineering,Manufacturing,Sales,Concurrent engineering


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