Introduction of CE:
Concurrent engineering is an effective methodology used for improving engineering quality and reducing lead time. Sprague, Singh, and Wood (2002) defined concurrent engineering as “a systematic approach to the integrated, concurrent design of products and their related processes, including manufacture and support.” One of the biggest applicants of the concurrent engineering approach is the aerospace industry where different functional teams worked in parallel and the development process results could be rapidly verified from multiple options (Rush and Roy 2000). The most phenomenal result of concurrent engineering compared to the traditional sequential engineering is the reduction of product development lead time, appreciation of total quality (quality of process, quality of organization, and product quality), increased productivity, and decreased costs (costs of rework, scrap, and delays) (Ghodous, Vandorpe, and Biren Prasad 2000).
Synchronize team efforts in the furniture engineering process – CE
CE could also improve the furniture engineering process. Figure 1 shows the difference between concurrent engineering and traditional engineering in a engineering furniture process. In concurrent engineering, the engineering process is paralleled with the mock-up process so that; a great deal of time is saved because engineering could response to any error caused by a design flaw based on daily production feedbacks. Thus by the end of engineering process, the mass production engineering documents are ready by using the same amount of time whereas in sequential engineering, only preproduction documents are completed.
Things are different in the traditional engineering process. The preproduction engineering happens first then the documents will distribute to production to trigger the mock-up process. Production associates will provide feedbacks in the process of making mock-ups. Engineers cannot start the compilation of mass production documents until all the feedbacks are collected from production. Obviously, the traditional engineering takes a lot of engineering iterations, whereas the concurrent engineering requires less engineering design cycles. Also, because feedbacks are given on timely basis, it helps to enhance the design productivity, ensure the product quality, and shorten the lead time.