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Implementing Concurrent Engineering Through Rapid Prototyping And Manufacturing An Nsf Funded Project

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.225.1 - 2.225.6



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Paper Authors

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Gwan-Ywan Lai

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Laura L. Sullivan

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Winston F. Erevelles

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1526

Implementing Concurrent Engineering Through Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing - An NSF-Funded Project

Laura Sullivan, Winston Erevelles, and Gwan Lai IMSE Department, GMI Engineering & Management Institute

Introduction Over the last 10 years the manufacturing sector in the U.S. has applied several tools, strategies, and philosophies to reverse declining trends in the global marketplace in an attempt to improve productivity, flexibility, time to market, product quality and reliability, and to reduce costs. Concurrent engineering has been successfully deployed to achieve all of the preceding benefits and has attracted significant attention from the manufacturing community worldwide. Concurrent engineering may be defined as the design of the entire lifecycle of a product simultaneously using a product design team and automated engineering and production tools. The definition underscores the importance of two key factors - people and equipment, with an emphasis on their interdependence upon each other.

Concurrent Engineering It has long been recognized that as much as 70% of the production costs of a manufactured part are tied to the engineering design process1. These costs are defined implicitly by the materials, dimensions, tolerances, surface finishes, and other parameters that determine processing costs2. The “shadow casting” shown in Figure 1 highlights the need to incorporate manufacturability and assemblability concerns early in the design cycle. It has also been recognized that while design defects are relatively inexpensive to rectify at the conceptual/initial design stage, not much can be done once the design process has been completed and initial production begun. The stair-step phenomenon shown in Figure 2 demonstrates the relative costs associated with design changes at various stages in a product’s development and release, and clearly highlights the importance of getting the design right the first time3.

% of Influence Launch 70 20 5 5 10,000 Initial Production 1,000 Prototype 100 Design 5 50 15 30 10 Design Material Labor Overheads % of Product Cost Start

Figure 1. Shadows Cast by Product Costs Figure 2. Design Changes and Cost Escalation

Lai, G., & Sullivan, L. L., & Erevelles, W. F. (1997, June), Implementing Concurrent Engineering Through Rapid Prototyping And Manufacturing An Nsf Funded Project Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6605

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