Engineering Bereitschaft as an enabler for Concurrent Engineering

Kåre Christiansen, Johan Vesterager

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    Industrial companies observe a general trend towards more customised products and shorter product life cycles. Furthermore, the market demands shorter lead-time and high-quality products at a competitive price. Concurrent Engineering address these challenges. Product modelling is a key aspect of the Concurrent Engineering literature. One problem with the product modelling literature is that it tends to assume that product development is revolutionary. Very often product development is evolutionary and it means that product modelling should have a major emphasis on reuse. In this paper it is suggested that industrial companies should develop an engineering development Bereitschaft (preparatory engineering knowledge) as an approach to Concurrent Engineering and product modelling. To develop such an engineering development Bereitschaft, a company must develop company generic product models.This paper will describe experience from a shipyard where an object oriented product model of a double hull supertanker and a product configurator prototype have been developed as part of an industrial Ph.D.-project. Configuration of the steel structures in a ship and the succeeding producability evaluation can in that way be done within a week. Such a fast cycle time allows for multiple iterations in search of a "good" design.The Bereitschaft idea requires efficient modelling methods. Modelling methods are well described in literature but the general assumption is that software engineers should drive modelling. The problem is that industrial companies are not in the software business. But successful application of product modelling in industry requires that domain engineers should drive the modelling activities (not programming). This paper will discuss why domain engineers as model managers is a necessary and reasonable approach, and experience from a workshop qualifying engineers as model managers will be described.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalRobotics and Computer Integrated Manufacturing
    Issue number6
    Pages (from-to)453-461
    Publication statusPublished - 1999

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