Computer simulation of product usage is effective in achieving shorter product development time, integrating the efforts of suppliers, reducing test cost, providing early product direction and interfacing to CAD. However, simulation may not be appropriate when no objective metrics exist, the engineering phenomenon is not yet well understood, analysis technology does not exist to handle the specific problem or when knowledge based engineering is adequate.
Simulation may be coupled to systems engineering to allow cascading engineering requirements for the entire product by specifying the systems that enable the achievement of customer wants and then cascaded to components that enable systems targets. Virtual Design of Experiments in the simulation process can provide major improvements in all phases of the product development process from concept screening to optimization to robustness.
Quantified product improvement has been shown to save more than a billion dollars on major automotive programs while reducing time to market.