1998-11-16

Concept and Concurrent Analysis and Optimization in a Product Design and Development Process 982808

This paper will introduce the concept of Concept and Concurrent Analysis and Optimization (CCAp for short), and discuss its merits and challenges for its successful application, from a technical perspective. Increasingly strong emphasis have been placed upon integrating analysis and optimization into a product design and development process (PD&D for short) for shorter time-to-market, lower cost, and increased quality and reliability. However, its effect and influence are ultimately limited in scope and extent to downstream from its entry into the process. CCAp promotes early introduction (at and before concept) and continued application (concurrent) along design evolution paths in a process. Concepts, which exist at all levels and on all scales throughout an entire process, are when design changes and variations are the easiest and least expensive to make, and when optimizations are the least constrained and the most effective. Early and continued analysis, applied timely and appropriate for different levels of details, would help catch and fix a poor design early at its infancy and avoid the risks of resulting budget overruns, time delays, and expensive warranties. Early and continued optimization would seek to achieve the most balanced or efficient designs (vs. over-designs) at the earliest opportunities. Concept models created at pre-design stages in an environment (such as FEA) allowing for analysis and optimization, in both our experiences and published reports, has successfully led design activities by providing valuable and timely guidance. While the benefits CCAp are apparent, its successful application would depend upon: 1. A process designed and intended for a sustained integration of CCAp. 2. A continuing improvement of analysis and optimization capacity, capability, and techniques. 3. A continuing improvement in application personnel's precision, efficiency, depth of expertise, and product design and manufacturing knowledge.

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