Advances in Computers and Information in Engineering Research, Volume 1
8 Systematic Enablers for Advanced Product Design Support
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- Ris (Zotero)
- Reference Manager
Product design is a complex multitask process that requires a wide range of expertise, knowledge, and designers creativity. It includes several interrelated activities such as studying feasibility of product concepts, developing design concepts, generating alternative product or system architectures, defining product or system interfaces, selecting materials and production processes, refining design concepts, defining parts geometry, specifying tolerances, building and testing experimental prototypes, evaluating usability and acceptance of design concepts, and analyzing aesthetics, ergonomics, reliability, performance, and cost—see, e.g., , ,  and . Effective methods and tools are needed to enable designers and engineers to perform these activities, to support creativity, and to ensure quality and success of products. One of the main challenges is that the needs on ground and the requirements for design support tools have been changing over the years. This is partly attributed to the ever-changing nature and increasing complexity of products. Overall, there is a demand for new appropriate methods and tools that meet today’s designers’ and engineers’ needs in the processes of development of present-day products, and which match up with today’s technology advancements in the areas of computing, computer graphics, and communications. Our research group has been involved in multiple research activities over the past five years, most of them focusing on creation of novel theoretical solutions as well as on developing methods and computational algorithms to support designers and engineers in the execution of activities in the design interval. The strategy in developing new tools has been to explore the relevance and appropriateness of the emerging technological solutions and to take advantage of the technological advancements in various areas of computing, computer graphics, and communications. This has been done with a view to providing contextualized solutions to various problems in product design and to enable designers and engineers to quickly and reliably externalize their innovative ideas when designing. The new theoretical and technological solutions presented in this chapter contribute to the efforts that are continuously being invested by many researchers around the globe to develop effective and efficient methods and tools to support designers and engineers in performing product development activities and to improve quality of products. While there are several factors that can contribute to reducing quality of products as well as designers or engineers performance and productivity, the limitation of the capabilities of the applied tools and methods is often the key factor that aggravates these problems. It is expected that accommodation of new technological solutions in the design process is likely to impact how the designers and engineers go about their daily professional work routines.