Journal of Materials Processing Technology 76 (1998) 12 – 15

Logistic orientated product design
H.-P. Wiendahl, H. Stritzke *
Uni6ersity of Hanno6er, Institute of Production Systems, Callinstrasse 26, D -30167 Hanno6er, Germany Received 28 May 1997

Abstract The essential principle for production companies all over the world remains to market new products of higher quality and faster than their competitors. Long product-lifetimes, central production structures and static market and competition surroundings are things of the past. In this context in recent years, the simultaneous engineering — i.e. integrated and time parallel working on the product and process design—has become the most successful plan to increase the efficiency in the product development process of products. However, this method is usually used inside the company. In the future however, companies will work in temporary strategic production networks together, in order to guarantee their core competencies and therefore the market and competitive position. In the context of the worldwide integration of several external partnerships in the product development process, the existing basics of simultaneous engineering are not sufficient. In this respect, the rapid progress in the field of information technology and the internet are disclosing new potentials. © 1998 Published by Elsevier Science S.A. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Logistic; Simultaneous engineering; Information technology

1. Trends in the surrounding market and competition Against the background of global displacement of competition, companies are forced to concentrate their strength on the abilities they know best — their core competence [1]. As a result of this change, the international division of labour is already gaining in importance today. For example, an American has to pay $10 000 when buying a new Pontiac Le Mans from General Motors. For assembly operations, $3000 of the total sum goes to South Korea, $1750 for high technology components (motor, gears and electronics) to Japan, $750 for product design to Germany, $400 for various small components to Taiwan, Singapore and Japan, $250 for publicity and marketing to Great Britain and about $50 for data processing to Ireland and Barbados. Less than $4000 stays in the US [2]. Together with the known development in relation to customer-orientation, expansion of variety and short product-lifetimes this trend demands a high level of flexibility from companies. With new external and internal organization structures, this aim is said to have
* Corresponding author. Tel.: + 49 511 7623516; fax: + 49 511 7623814; e-mail:

been achieved. In the future, functional cooperations with external partnerships will be involved in strategic, regional and operative production networks, all being virtual companies [3]. For the internal structures, concepts such as ‘breathing factory’, ‘module factory’, ‘fractal factory’ and ‘holonic factory’ as basic solutions are discussed [4]. All of these concepts are part of the trend towards decentralization and self-organization.

Fig. 1. Number of modifications during the project running time of the product development [5].

0924-0136/98/$19.00 © 1998 Published by Elsevier Science S.A. All rights reserved. PII S 0 9 2 4 - 0 1 3 6 ( 9 7 ) 0 0 3 7 8 - 6

In contrast. These modification costs contribute to the total cost of the product in a considerable manner. Second. 2. be favorably priced and produced on schedule. 2. In the future therefore. Against the background of global participation. This leads to a substantial competitive advantage for the Japanese. 2. the business of production companies in the future is. In the best case. Product and production design as innovative fields In the described turbulent surroundings of the market. Two other deficits in relation to this exist and are dramatically shown in Fig.-P. there is no appropriate tool available at present which can assist the personnel who are familiar with the design and realization in a specific way. in order to prevent modifications at the beginning of produc- tion. Hence. a product is developed without taking into consideration the technical realization. Wiendahl. the Japanese have a higher technical level for production of developed products. The fact that this case is special is shown in the example below: the number of modifications during the project running time of the product development is shown in Fig. In the West. it must be the main focus of all endeavors to reduce the total time—from inception up to the launching of the product onto the market—in worldwide production networks in order to achieve a competitive advantage. to make products available more quickly.H. 1. the product and production design is becomming especially important. These should be of optimal quality and variety. The target for product and production design is the result of the following facts: a decreasing number of modifications must be carried out in the early stages of product development respectively they have to be completely avoided. H. International comparison of the performance of production development in the car industry in the mid-nineties [5] Still missing are describable methods for the decentrally organized courses of design. now as ever. First. the development expenditure in Japan half that of the West. This is shown by the number of employees and work hours required within the project team. This is a result of the short time between the start of production and the first point of sale. because the essential deficits of the Western industrial nations in international comparison lie here. . Stritzke / Journal of Materials Processing Technology 76 (1998) 12–15 13 Fig. This is recognizable by the very high number of modifications just prior to the start of production. Part of this low expenditure is certainly accounted for by the integration of a much greater number of subcontractors. since the costs of modifications rise progressively with the project running time. this measure will lead to a compensation to the competitors of the far East. the Japanese concentrate their activities at an extremely early stage in product development. as well as the very short time reqired for the return to normal productivity and quality.

3. For this reason. the production technician is involved in the development process only at a very late stage. 3. a research project at the institute for production systems has recently included the development of a software tool which supports the parallel work processes from the view of the design. thus making their specific knowledge available to all. or concurrent. This method must fulfill the task of systematic registration and avoidance of potential mistakes in the product development. The philosophy of simultaneous engineering entails the implementation of a series of methods. Reduction of the development expenditure. Simultaneous engineering — the standard solution up to the present The key idea that with the beginning of product development all concerned parties work in parallel and at overlapping activities together. 4. or based on integrated planning. it is noticeable that existing methods of simultaneous engineering are either essentially concentrated on the analyses and the transparent representation of existing processes. it is well-known that now as ever. It can be shown. as well as while planning assembly and production processes. The subject of these methods corresponds to the true sense of common product development However. Reducing the project running time through parallel work processes. 3. information and communication systems. 4. the technology and the logistics.-P. 3). Stritzke / Journal of Materials Processing Technology 76 (1998) 12–15 Fig. Known as simultaneous. The institute of production systems has carried out various practical projects in the field of plant layout. On the basis of the restriction of the draft liberties of each following skilled department—after determination of the product characteristics —it is impossible for this proceeding to establish an optimum for the process characteristics. Improvement of quality. H. the concept of simultaneous engineering must be worked out up to the possibility that the production logistic already prescribes an exact specification for the product and the necessary technology. In this project. 6.14 H. 5. Wiendahl. it is rather unsuitable. in the sense of a logistically orientated product design at the starting point of the design. High degree of safety of the processes. This is certainly a suitable possibility for making specific knowledge available in the development process. The same applies to the logistic characteristics. Also. . High schedule. they do not ultimately contribute much to global cooperation or to time parallel adaptation of jobs. organization and logistics. for example by the methods of ‘failure-possibilities and failure-influence-analyses’ (FMEA). the personnel entrusted with the design of the structures and the production logistics did not participate in this work in any way. The successful use of this method is characterized by the following aims: 1. Logistically orientated product design—a new solution It is clear that the methods and expedients in use at present are not sufficient. In general. Reduction of the time-to-market from the time of conception of the product. Decrease of development and production costs. is not new (Fig. As a result of these projects. engineering. This analysis results in the definition of measures for avoiding such mistakes. this idea is being transferred to personnel within the company by the assistance of the organization in the form of project management. 2. but as a method or tool for the support of parallel work processes.

Warnecke. The www fulfills all the requirements without exception. Leitfaden des Simultaneous Engineering. PPS Management 1996. H. Reich. As a minimum. Springer. [5] J. S. Wiendahl.a. it must be guaranteed that all experts in the team can continue to work with their own preferred software. Berlin. 1995.J. 4. [4] H. S. Nur Kernkompetenzen sichern das 8 berleben.-P. Krottmaier. Hamel. References [1] C. Access is very easy.B. 4 shows the theoretical construction of this information system. Harv.H. Revolution der Unternehmenskultur— Das fraktale Unternehmen. Construction of an information system for assistance of simultaneous engineering in product development. Ullstein Verlag. Fig. Wiendahl. as well as being decentralized and accessible from every common application. the world wide web (www) of the internet was chosen as the basis for the tool. For this reason. Frankfurt. . 1993.: Zuku ¨ nftige PPS-Systeme mu ¨ ssen LogistikNetzwerke beherrschen. it would then be necessary that the provision of information for each concerned person is carried out in a simple manner and without loss of time. U [2] R. the concept must guarantee the possibility of a distributed product development worldwide. However. G. Another important point for the development is the fact that it is very difficult to press creative. . 66 – 78. Manager 2 (1991). O [3] H. 1993. the hypertext transfer protocol (http) and the hypertext markup language (html)—enable the necessary information to be made available and retrievable to all team members. motivated and responsible employees into the prefabricated schemes of a software package. without necessitating knowledge of the standards. Berlin. Prahalad. u. Based on this work. The first point of departure in the implementation of such a tool is the reflection that both the old developments in the field of computer integrated manufacturing (CIM) and the new data warehouse concepts are failing. The reason for this is their complexity and the necessity of giving every piece of necessary information each time for every question asked.-P. 6 ff. Die neue Weltwirtschaft— Das Ende der nationalen 8 konomie. The three important standards of web — the uniform re- source locator (url). Stritzke / Journal of Materials Processing Technology 76 (1998) 12–15 15 Fig. Springer. This information can be accessed from every personal computer.K.