Loughborough University
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A systems engineering and concurrent engineering framework for the integrated development of complex products

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posted on 2012-10-15, 13:48 authored by Geilson Loureiro
The aims of this research are to investigate the development of complex products (e.g. cars, satellites, aeroplanes), to identify areas for improvement and to make a contribution to those areas. The premise is that the shortcomings of a component design focused concurrent engineering (CE) and of a product focused systems engineering (SE) can be addressed by seeking a 'total view framework' that encompasses both, CE and SE. A broader scope of product development becomes necessary for coping with the complexity of the current very dynamic manufacturing business environment. Initial work was to undertake a comprehensive literature review drawing out the perceived needs in general as well as the particular needs of the space and automotive industries. This was supplemented with periods spent in industry with a major automotive manufacturer. It was found that complex product manufacturing industry faces a very dynamic and highly competitive global marketplace. In such a dynamic environment, the ongoing success of a development organisation is translated by its capacity to continuously shorten development cycle time, reduce cost, manage risks and, at the same time, improve product performance. The achievement of these objectives is highly dependent on the organisation's ability to cope with changes and with the complexity that may result from them. This involves identifying the elements that are likely to change and the interactions among them very early in the product development life cycle, in its conceptual stage. These elements are not only part of the product itself but are also part of the product life cycle processes and their performing organisations. Traditional development approaches provide only a partial picture of these elements and their interactions. For example, the traditional automotive approach fails to capture the interactions among the product elements. It uses a component approach that treats the product as a set of isolated components rather then as an integrated system. CE tools treat life cycle process elements in isolation of each other. Traditional satellite SE approach develops the product as a system but does not consider its life cycle processes as part of the system. In order to cope with product inherent complexity and with the complexity that may arise from changes, it is necessary to adopt an integrated development approach for complex product development.....



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


© Geilson Loureiro

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A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


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