What is concurrent engineering

Concurrent engineering - definition

The term 'Concurrent engineering', also' Simultaneous Engineering ', in English: distributed, simultaneous development describes a process in product development. This improves the coordination of development and production, since the development time of a new product is shortened and subsequent production-related changes are avoided.

The principle of the procedure is the simultaneous sequence of traditionally successive work processes. As soon as enough information has been compiled in a workflow, the next workflow is started in parallel.

This can lead to extra work, as the work is not done with the final, but only with an intermediate information status, so the working basis can change at any time. However, errors can be identified more quickly and eliminated in good time before they cause high costs in a later phase.

This is particularly beneficial Concurrent engineering between the product development and production planning workflows.

Traditionally, product development and production planning are two strictly separate steps that follow one another. First the new product is designed and completely worked out, then the planning of the mechanical systems with which this product can be manufactured begins.

When using Concurrent engineering production planning begins earlier. As soon as preliminary versions of the product have been worked out, planning for their production will begin. The development continues in parallel and there is a constant exchange of information between the areas.

The advantage of this approach is the time savings due to the production options and costs that have already been checked, as well as the production resources that have already been partially planned when the product is fully developed. One also speaks of the paradox of Concurrent engineering, because each process step takes longer, but the sum of the process steps is again shorter than in the traditional process.

Another important aspect is the early detection of construction-related production problems:

The sooner a design change is made, the less costs are usually incurred. The worst case scenario with the traditional approach is that the product is completely finished but cannot be made. So it has to be redesigned. Concurrent engineering helps to postpone such findings and the resulting changes to an earlier point in time.