Collaborative Engineering in Products Development and Manufacturing
The manufacture and consumption of market products shows ever growing trends, and this means not only the supply and demand volume but also, to a higher and higher extent, searching for new products distinguishable from the variety of products on the market. Not only new methods of market investigation have appeared to specify its requirements, but some attempts were also made at elaborating suitable methods and techniques of engineering to ensure flexible and synchronised reaction to market demands. Thus, it is necessary to find methods of functional, logical and structural combination of the so far existing engineering applications like CAx, RP/RT/RE, PDM/TDM, PPC/ERP, CE/SE and RDBMS techniques. Competitive actions in the "product market" make a manufacturer and his sub-suppliers respond to market signals quickly and adequately, and to permanently improve their internal organisation, as well as co-operation, logistic and service interconnections. A new challenge imposed to manufacturers by the competitive market is the so-called "product customisation", i.e. attending to an individual customer's requirements in the features of a series manufactured product. The general objective of customisation is to elaborate features of a product, manufacturing processes, documentation and production organisation in such a way that the product's individual features meet the customer's requirements and its manufacturing process, price and service do not stray from series manufactured products. This contradictory production strategy requires using the newest achievements of computer methods and tools, as well as the newest manufacturing technologies and systems. (original abstract)
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