Concurrent Design – An Effective and Efficient Design Model

The concept of a concurrent design method can be described as the instant and accurate communication held between assigned specialists, in order to resolve any immediate issues or concerns during the design process of a product.The conventional approach to designing reliability, maintainability and testability of products has been to allocate representatives from specific support areas to look at and review the design as it evolves. They are then asked to make any changes deemed necessary in an ongoing process.

However, the adopted existing concept of concurrent design involves a multi-functional, highly structured design team which has greater authority and accountability. Each member of the team will have responsibilities from the start of the design process to offer their expertise to help in the development of the best product possible within the given costs and schedule constraints. The team will therefore need to demonstrate a set of skills that are flexible and accessible in an effective and efficient manner.

This method is successful in determining a specific design solution in a short period of time to ensure products are on the market at the right time compatible with the needs of the user.

Using the concurrent design concept allows for a study or research to be completed within hours instead of months and lends itself to the notion that everyone, including the customer can be involved in the decision making process at the same time. This not only speeds up the procedure, but also offers those involved the opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings encountered, through face to face interaction.

Looking at the concurrent design idea as a process of collaboration, co-decision and management within and between cross-functional teams, it is important that an integrated approach to the sharing of information be introduced to benefit the concurrent design support environment.This system has been so effective that it has been adopted as the key technique for conceptual design methods being carried out at an innovative facility operating successfully at The Aerospace Corporation, the Concept Design Centre (CDC).

The centre provides the opportunity for Aerospace customers, both commercial and government, to work directly with corporate experts on the rapid development of conceptual designs for new space systems. Simultaneous software models and computer aided design provide the concurrent design competences that have made the Concept Design Centre such an effective facility in the development of new systems.

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