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Proceedings of the 4th EUROPEAN COMPUTING CONFERENCE

Current Trends in Product Development
LUPEANU MIHAELA, NEAGU CORNELIU, NEACŞU ALINA
Department of Manufacturing Engineering
POLITEHNICA University of Bucharest
Splaiul Independenţei 313, postal cod 060042, sector 6, Bucharest
ROMANIA
mihaela.lupeanu@yahoo.com

Abstract: The high demand and competition of the market, caused by globalization and permanent technical innovation,
exerts an enormous pressure on companies. For hundreds of years, business leaders all over the world have engaged in an
on-going battle to gain sustainable competitive advantage, using and improving methods for innovating faster and better,
with high customer value. The present work is a report of the latest methods used by companies in product development.
This research defines only the concepts of the most utilized systems, considering that they are under industrial secrecy.
The use of scientific methods gives the industrial groups the possibility to implement their knowledge in industrial
environments and create case-studies for further publications.

Keywords: product development, innovation process, customers needs, competitiveness, quality standards, time-to-market.

1 Introduction economy, as well as for high standards of living and
Market leadership is achieved only by the fastest, most welfare. This importance is better illustrated in figure 1,
productive and best value global producers that use representing R&D expenditures across some developed
product performance, cost, quality and reliability as countries, as a percentage of the total gross domestic
assets. Product innovation is an essential factor to the product (GDP) of the specific country. In order to
companies that want to be competitive, and to survive to describe and better understand the role of product
the technological evolution and globalization. The way to development research and its effects, it is vital to look at
be competitive is to continuously improve both product the basis methods, the present complex strategies applied
and process. To facilitate major change, product worldwide and analyze the future trends involving
development institutions must utilize a safe and proven innovative disciplines.
methodology. Typically, for large organizations, product
development is done in-house. Small and medium size
enterprises often do not have in their ranks enough
personnel to dedicate to more fundamental research. They
usually partner with a research and development (R&D)
institution and develop new products [10]. Regardless the
size of the company, the key of competitiveness
nowadays, is the ability to adapt to the forever changing
market trends and the capacity to respond to external
signals with products not only with a competitive cost but
also with the quality that customers are willing to pay for.
Fig. 1 Gross expenditure on R&D as a % of GDP
(Source: OECD Main Science and Technology Indicators) [12]

2 Strategies and methods in Product Nowadays organizations have crossed beyond the
Development distinction between technological and non – technological
innovation by setting up and deploying a much broader
set of complementary strategies. Today’s firms tend to
2.1 Background adopt mixed modes of product development (PD) and
Research, innovation and development are of crucial innovation: certain types of methods tend to go hand in
importance for the competitiveness of the modern hand in the same firms and complement each other, while

ISSN: 1790-5117 94 ISBN: 978-960-474-178-6

at the end of the 1940's. used the term value analysis. or design [3]. objective of achieving the specified function at the lowest This paper mentions some of the first product possible overall cost [4]. a larger. Requirements Design WHATS 3 Parts Requirements Details WHATS 4 Product Process 2. Miles and Harry Erlicker. The basic quality function was developed by Genrikh S. It can be applied either as an independent method or as a specific PROBLEM TO Find tool within some of the new product development SOLVE contradictions methods (concurrent engineering for example). today’s researchers simply be described as an organized effort directed at are trying to fill in the blanks with reports set up on an analyzing the function of an item or a product with the international level [10. He developed the TRIZ hierarchical levels [1]. Proceedings of the 4th EUROPEAN COMPUTING CONFERENCE other types tend to be independent or to substitute for Leggett renamed the term value analysis to value each other. HOWS Parts Requirements The methods are now used within more complex HOWS Requirements Process WHATS Customer innovative strategies applied in the majority of 1 Requirements HOWS Requirements Production WHATS 2 Requirements Design organizations.R. amount of information in each matrix at a manageable Altshuller collaborated with an informal collection of level. 2004) [6] part substitutions. a GE electrical engineer. to Inventive Principles devise appropriate approaches or methods that would be helpful in generating tangible savings through material or Fig. Further. when General Electric (GE) management n selected Lawrence D. GE vice. The TRIZ theory is over the course of the product development process. If a couple of years ago there were engineering. strategies and tools that can be applied in any ISSN: 1790-5117 95 ISBN: 978-960-474-178-6 . Over the years scientists developed a large pallet of president for purchasing. These methods include quality function deployment (QFD).S. Apply 1 2 The history of value engineering (VE) may be traced SOLUTION Inventive 3 Principles back to 1947. Value engineering may product development and innovation. 3 TRIZ methodology (Adapted from José. They extended the original “house of quality” from José. Therefore. such as cost. 11. often in a completely different industry for a planning and design information. and reliability. methods. (TRIZ) or Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TIPS) technology. Based on this idea. (Adapted 1960s. 2004) [6] (HOQ) approach by deploying “hows” resulting from the top-level HOQ into lower-tier matrices (figure 2) The Teoriya Resheniya Izobreatatelskikh Zadatch addressing aspects of product development.S. based on the idea that many of the problems that During each phase. changes in manufacturing techniques. development methods (PDM) that were designed starting the beginning of the 1940’s. The hows on each developed by Yoji Akao and Shigeru Mizuno in the early House of Quality becomes the whats in the next. thus incorporating within the new concept unanswered questions regarding collaborative methods in fresh developed strategies [14]. VE and TRIZ.2 Traditional Product Development methods Production This section is dedicated to three of the most utilized methods in product development: QFD. 2 The four phases of QFD. quality of the product will satisfy the customer. Miles. Fig. From customer Quality function deployment (QFD) was originally requirements to client satisfaction. QFD aims to assure that the initial methodology which is often used nowadays (figure 3). more-complex product should academic and industrial colleagues to study patents and have its customers’ needs further classified into lower search for the patterns that exist. one or more matrices are constructed engineers face contain elements that have already been to plan and communicate critical product and process solved. One guideline for totally unrelated situation that uses an entirely different successful development of QFD matrices is to keep the technology to solve the problem. Contradiction Matrix QFD can be customized to a specific project and it focuses on delivering positive value by seeking out both spoken and unspoken needs [2]. value engineering HOWS Design Requirements (VE) and the theory of inventive problem solving (TRIZ). Altshuller in the former deployment methodology involves four phases that occur U. 12].

designers. Concurrent engineering is a systematic approach to the integrated. For extended time spent on planning (about 10 times more further research. and can be adapted to certain specific needs of by striving for maximum overlap between activities that each organization separately. goals on time.1 Concurrent Engineering (CE) innovation purposes – rarely including non-technicians. Studies [14] have suggest a detailed study of the references shown at the demonstrated that being a few months late to market is end of the paper. 4 Time difference between sequential engineering in the process. Studies [5] the most well known base methods. derived from all functional groups to drive product IPD is a philosophy that systematically employs an development. creators claim is used in 73% of North American CE is a time – centered approach that aims at companies in 2006 [5]. Manufacturing and key suppliers must be satisfy customer needs [5]. 2007) [5] product development (IPD) – The Stage . much worse than having a 50 percent cost overrun when these overruns are related to financial performance over the lifecycle of a new product or service. 9]. converts them into specific functional The method was introduced in the mid 80s as a reaction specifications and engineering requirements and conducts to the mainly engineering-based CE methodology. including manufacturing and support [5. achieving major time reductions by planning and The method has been criticized by some specialists executing design and development activities in parallel. As shown. concurrent design of products and their related 2. the tools and that were applied in the last 15 to 20 years. CE combines a multi-disciplined core also included in the process. rigorous Quality Function Deployment (QFD) capabilities marketing experts and people from other branches were and procedures.3. some IPD-processes include an external functional organization stands up for integrated solutions. so SE 3% 27% 45% 15% rigid bureaucracy and operations are seen more as impediments than boosters for growth. steering group. A multi. Another concept of collaborative new product CE is a methodology which determines related development is Integrated Product Development (IPD).3 New Product Development Methods (NPD) Nowadays everything happens so fast that change in production procedures may occur within a few weeks. The sequential process implies that departments receive the result from the previous department’s work without communicating CE 33% 22% 45% 8% before. design cost and lead time optimization. The most known methods include rapid (SE) and concurrent engineering (CE) (Adapted from prototyping. customer needs.3.. integrated Ingvild S. This paper mentions only cannot be completely executed in parallel. One of the most known methods within which involve blending processes (people) with this philosophy is the Stage-Gate© method which the technology (tools) and infrastructure (environment). and some of the new show that CE led to an average of 40% reduction in product development methodologies that include classic overall development time (figure 4). In competitive evaluations using very disciplined and addition to engineers from different disciplines. Proceedings of the 4th EUROPEAN COMPUTING CONFERENCE PD stages. or who claimed that the steering group assessment halts the ISSN: 1790-5117 96 ISBN: 978-960-474-178-6 . team. documentation and technical aspects than in a sequential one) aims to make the later stages run about all of these methods and a lot more we strongly as smooth and swift as possible. To ensure that the involved early and often in the development process from development team stays on track and reaches the planned concept initiation to customer delivery [7]. This leads to time consuming patching-up before commencing the actual tasks. concurrent engineering (CE). A strong management steering team integrated team effort from multiple functional disciplines simplifies bureaucracy and eliminates cross-functional to develop effectively and efficiently new products that barriers. 2. the method has been criticized for not being very useful for radical 2.Gate model. The efforts for dealing with Planning Design 40% time savings this issue have included new product development (NPD) Process Design Manufacturing methods where all participants gather at the start of a project in order to avoid time consuming remodeling later Fig.2 Integrated Product Development (IPD) processes. dynamic product development (DPD) and business Despite striving to reach its full potential in terms of process reengineering (BPR).

financial of CE and IPD. to nail down precisely. thus reducing cost. easily and quickly in the computer. engineering change (on average).1 Objectives and revenue generated). as this is highly related to conducted at Halmstad University in Sweden with the aim the particular company in question. strategic innovation Another methodology which is based on cross- etc. cost. the method is highly iterative (hence the term 'dynamic') and allows for fundamental concept changes at later stages in 3 The Impact of Product Development the development process. Product development methods introduced mainly with the Stage-Gate© Model and is attack total product costs when changes can be made thus not much mentioned as a tool for the CE process. simulation and business modeling.000 per change (on average). asset utilization 3. creating an effective environment for demands since these might have changed after the first innovation. quality. exploiting new technologies. Proceedings of the 4th EUROPEAN COMPUTING CONFERENCE project for an unnecessarily long time. the DPD-principles include strong objectives. If CE uses QFD methods and made after design release. product quality [7.000 to $2. generation of intellectual property. [10. The issue of steering groups was the concept design phase. making the differs from the two others by allowing change after the process abrupt and discontinuous. involving production. The most significant difference between BPR and other NPD methods is its applicability 2. in the build and test phase. functional teams and involves the use of classic methods. An estimated 75% or more of a product’s cost is Nevertheless. new businesses. with cross-functional teams.3. As the methods organization culture. of which can be mentioned: building being too rigid for innovation purposes. resulting from external interference. Furthermore. leadership. Concept changes after the planning phase are not normally considered a part of CE Methods Regardless of the method used. services. Aspects like of developing the IPD process further [5]. 13]. while impossible with convergence of technology. DPD. tooling and IDEFØ. This rigidity can networks for knowledge exchange. they all have the same and IPD. providing high quality lead to a result which isn't meeting current market innovation support. If these same Firms must innovate in order to survive. The cost of supporting tools like activity based modeling (ABM) and engineering changes. DPD ISSN: 1790-5117 97 ISBN: 978-960-474-178-6 . after production has started.4 Comparison of the methodologies $10-20. they claim. but differs by the methods and One of PDM goals is to eliminate engineering changes tools used [11. is thus a better way improved products. new or stages are finished. the estimated cost. customer focus and use of visualization tools. teams probably the technological focus and the lack of extensive evaluate multiple product and process alternatives and use of customer representatives in the process. innovation radicality and composition of customer focus and the use of visualization tools. for ensuring market success [4. 12]. is $1. product design. can exceed $150. is the use of an internal concept group taken into consideration when developing a collaborative working as the steering group in order to avoid delays innovation strategy.3 Dynamic Product Development (DPD) mostly in process development and not for product Dynamic Product Development is one of the very last innovation. 13]. equipment modifications. there are some distinctive features for each “locked-in” when the first layouts are developed during individual method. The We can’t say which one of NPD methods is “the term was introduced in 1997 when a project was best” in an innovation context. NPD methods also advocates for world-class standards for methods are quite similar. saving time software. If changes are made before production.000 per organizational restructuring. Using integrated The biggest difference between CE and the two other is target setting. planning stage is over. and creators of DPD consider them therefore as main outcomes. processes. One disciplines within the company should most probably be difference though. BPR stands for utilizing Functional Analysis and creating opportunities for quality. All of NPD changes are made in the predictive simulation phase methods require a very high degree of innovation overlaid within the computer. marketing. Product development engineering and manufacturing capabilities. strategies and supporting tools is business process reengineering (BPR).000 per change (on average) in many product industries. contributions to new product development methods. the cost might be 2. technology resources. 8]. BPR has the same driving factors as all other PDMs (cycle time.

6 Design Thinking Concept (Adapted from Tim Brown. and cautious. specific objective of these methods is reduction of overall is more and more regarded as a valuable tool for making product costs by 25% to 30% compared with product more complete products and increasing brand loyalty. In other words. Design thinking is an approach that 100% 80% . from concept development to fully implemented production. strongest catalysts for the new collaborative attitude. uses both managers tend to focus on profits and returns. and so figuring out their real needs. can shorten time-to-market by 35% to Fig. the advantages brought by the to make important contributions to product development wide fields and connections covered through these multi- methodologies. Time & Cost 33% Objectives design thinking is human-centered innovation [15]. Product development methods. designers think laterally.2 New Disciplines of Innovation together to create better approaches on development and Customer emotionally centered disciplines are beginning innovation. Advanced technology introduced by competitors or DESIGN PEOPLE TECHNOLOGY THINKING demanded by customers makes current products obsolete (DESIRABILITY) (FEASIBILITY) and forces new product development programs for companies to remain competitive.90% uses the designer’s sensibility and methods for problem solving to meet people’s needs in a technologically 66% Conventional PDM Quality feasible and commercially viable way. Proceedings of the 4th EUROPEAN COMPUTING CONFERENCE compare relative product and manufacturing costs of design knowledge (by focusing on users. Two disciplines which are experiencing disciplinary methods. 2001) [7] . when FUNCTIONAL INNOVATION applied correctly. Design consultancy IDEO. The radical cultural differences their knowledge of user experience are design and between disciplines represent a true challenge when anthropology. a their natural habitat.BRANDS . The 133% Quality newest concept promoted by IDEO specialists is “design Objective Acceptable Quality thinking” (figure 6). can also lead to a series of growing respect in the business community because of important hindrances. a better use of serialists. It is the objective of these methods to experience in a broader sense) will bring a company's be 80% to 90% certain that the correct product concepts innovation efforts to a higher level.MARKETING (VIABILITY) PROCESS INNOVATION The final economic driver is time-to-market. where managers decisive for making products with a complete user think linearly. Product life cycles are becoming shorter and in most industries will be even shorter in the future. costs of leading competitors that are still using today’s IDEO is today regarded as one of the most innovative “build and test” serial product and process development consultancies in the world – possibly being one of the methods (figure 5) [2. disciplines and tools are used 3. designers prefer reform. “Where leading companies on innovation today. designers designers and anthropologists actively in their focus on product and service quality. Nevertheless. 7]. According to design thinkers. 22 -25% Conventional 5-7% Time & Cost ENPERIENCE Concept Detail Design Production Production INNOVATION Initial Design & Validation Engineering EMOTIONAL INOVATION Fig. A growing focus on cross-functionality appears throughout all new product development methods. problem-oriented. designers are ISSN: 1790-5117 98 ISBN: 978-960-474-178-6 . Thus.RELATIONSHIPS BUSINESS from Lemon. managers are experience. As for and the correct manufacturing and assembly strategies anthropologists. while managers are development processes as their knowledge is regarded as in for survival. one of the trying to bridge the gap between the professions. 5 Product Development Cost and Quality (Adapted . Different techniques.3 Trends and Challenges ahead business risk. creativity and these alternatives. 50% [11]. their know-how of observing users in have been selected at concept initial design. 2009) [15] Some equally important objectives are reduction of capital investment for state-of-the-art automation by 40% or more and significantly lowered overall product 3.

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