Reflecting communication: a key factor for successful collaboration between embodiment design and simulation

Anja M Maier, Matthias Kreimeyer, Udo Lindemann, P John Clarkson

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The need for integration of computer-aided design and computer-aided engineering environments stems from the business priority to reduce product cycle times. It is exacerbated by the coexistence of two different paradigms: a topological one in embodiment design and a functional one in simulation. This dualism places increasing demands on human communication between design and simulation engineers. This paper claims that reflecting communication is a key factor for successful collaboration. Reflection is used in both senses of the Latin word ‘reflectare’: to trigger active thinking about and consideration of communication, as well as to mirror perceptions of a given situation by people collaborating. The paper reports on the development and application of a maturity-grid approach to diagnose the current and desired states of communication between design engineers and simulation engineers in the car body development of a German automotive manufacturer. Results include three themes: one, the importance of understanding of the collaborators’ information needs; two, the importance of orientation, e.g., indicated by the engineers’ overview of sequence of tasks in the design process; and three, the importance of reflection.
Keyword: Communication,CAD,CAE,Performance assessment,New Product Development,Design
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Engineering Design
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)265-287
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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