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The challenge of complexity in product design and engineering

- by Brian Gott with Cambashi Limited

New design methods are required in order to head off a growing complexity crisis in product design and engineering. A recent survey identified product and process complexity as the most important issue for designers and engineers, well ahead of time to market and cost pressures.
Driven by markets that demand ever-increasing product value and functionality, manufacturers have embarked on continuous product improvement, delivering more features, more innovation and better looking products. In the fight to control markets and maintain market share the leading manufacturers increase the size of their product ranges, offer more options and release new and better products more frequently, incorporating new technology, more automation and better value for money at an accelerating rate. Coping with the resulting design complexity while maintaining time to market and profitability is the latest challenge to hit the engineering industry.
This white paper analyses the proposition that modern 3D CAD systems can be successfully deployed to cope with design complexity and create the kind of product design environment that positively promotes innovation, while raising design productivity yet again in order to increase design throughput.
Our analysis deals with three main topics:
how and why complexity arises
how modern 3D solid modeling CAD technology can be deployed to meet the challenges that complexity presents and to turn them to competitive advantage
the particular characteristics of modern mainstream 3D CAD systems that impact the complexity issue.
A detailed review is given of all the areas throughout the product development work flow cycle that are impacted by a fully implemented 3D CAD system, and the gains to be expected.The findings are derived from our on-going research programs, from speaking to companies currently considering a move to 3D solid modeling, and to others who have already made the move, drawn from the machinery, electro-mechanical, and consumer products sectors of industry.