Not Signed-In
Select and review.
08 JANUARY 2013

Concurrent Engineering versus Sequential Engineering

"Sequential engineering, also known as serial engineering, is characterized by downstream departments supplying information to design only after a product has already been designed, verified and prototyped [1], in order to change what design engineering did wrong, or what could have been improved. In serial engineering, the various functions such as design, manufacturing, and customer service are separated. The information in serial engineering flows in succession from phase to phase. For example, the prototype model, verified by either simulation or prototyping or both, is reviewed for manufacturing, quality and service. Usually, some changes are suggested after the review. If the suggested changes in the design are made, there are increases in the cost and time to develop the product, resulting in delays in marketing the product. If the changes cannot be made because of market pressure to launch the product quickly, or the fact that the design is already behind schedule, then specialists in other functional areas or managers from manufacturing, quality, and service, among others, are informed of the impending problems. In sequential engineering a department starts working only when the preceding one has finished, and, once a department has finished working on a project, or part of a project, this is not planned to come back: information flow is only one way.

On the contrary, in CE all functional areas are integrated within the design process. In this case information continuously flows back and forth among all functions. During the design process CE draws on various disciplines to trade-off parameters such as manufacturability, testability and serviceability, along with customer performance, size, weight, and cost [1-2]. The decision making process in a CE environment differs from sequential engineering in that at every stage decisions are taken considering the constraints and the objectives of all stages of the product life cycle, thus taking at the product design level issues that are usually addressed much later, thus giving the possibility to achieve a better overall solution [2,3]. The integration of other functional areas within the design process helps to discover hard to solve problems at the design stage. Thus, when the final design is verified, it is already manufacturable, testable, serviceable, and of high quality. The most distinguishing feature of CE is the multidisciplinary, cross-functional team approach. Product development costs range between 5% and 15% of total costs, but decisions taken at this stage affect 60–95% of total costs [4]. Therefore it is at the product development stage that the most relevant savings can be achieved."

(Ecehan SofuoÄŸlu, 2011)

Ecehan SofuoÄŸlu (2011). "Different Approaches to Concurrent Engineering"



competitive capabilities • concurrent engineering (CE)cross-functional design teams • cross-functional team approach • decision making process • design engineeringdesign processdevelopment life cycle • downstream • engineering and manufacturing • functional areas • manufacturability • manufacturable • manufacturingmultidisciplinary teams • new product development • over-the-wall design processover-the-wall engineering • overall solution • product development • product development methods • product development stage • product-lifecycle • sequential engineering (SE) • sequential stages • serial engineering • serial prototyping • serviceability • serviceable • silos • successive phases • testability • testable


Simon Perkins

to Folksonomy

Can't access your account?

New to Folksonomy?

Sign-Up or learn more.