RESEARCH BRIEF: Using Concurrent Engineering (CE) in the Furniture Engineering Process

Wang Chao, MS Candidate 


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.

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WORKSHOP: International Marketing for Forest Products Industries

Brought to you by:

  • The Federal State Market Improvement Program (FSMIP) at USDA
  • The  Utilization and Marketing Center at the Virginia Department of Forestry (DOF)
  • Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS)
  • The Center for Forest Products Business at Virginia Tech

Location and Date:

  • Location

Utilization & Marketing Center
Virginia Department of Forestry

900 Natural Resources Dr., Suite 800
Charlottesville, VA 22903
434-296-2369 fax

  • Date

June 14, 2011


  • 9:00-9:10. Welcoming message. CHarlie Becker, Virginia Department of Forestry
  • 9:10-10:10. Basics of Marketing for Exports. Robert Smith, Virginia Tech
  • 10:10-10:30. Coffee Break
  • 10:30-11:15. Supply Chain Management Issues. Henry Quesada, Virginia Tech
  • 11:15-12:00. Hardwood Export Statistics. Mike Snow, AHEC Executive Director
  • 11:45-12:45. Lunch Box lunch
  • 12:45-1:30. Marketing Intelligence for Exports. Joel Stopha    , International Marketing Specialist at VDACS
  • 1:30-2:15. Research Update: Exporting Opportunities to Central America. Scott Lyon, Virginia Tech
  • 2:15-2:30. Coffee Break
  • 2:30-2:45. Roundtable/Panel Discussion. All speakers
  • 2:45. Conclusion Remarks. Henry Quesada, Virginia Tech

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WORKSHOP: Supply Chain Management: Opportunities and Challenges

Trends, Opportunities and Challenges

Presented by

  • The Manufacturing Extension Partnership Center at Purdue University
  • The Center of Forest Products Business at Virginia Tech
  • The Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at Purdue University

Workshop Description:

Supply Chain Management (SCM) has been critical to ensure that manufacturing companies deliver their products at the right time and location. A supply chain of operations can be divided into three sections: suppliers, internal operations, and distribution section. The first section of the supply chain oversees all activities related to the procurement of the raw materials with special emphasis on supplier development, supplier relationships, and supplier reliability. The middle part of the supply chain focuses on the transformation of raw materials into added-value products. Internal operations such as inventory stocking and material handling are carefully designed and planned in this section. The last section of the supply chain concentrates on the distribution of those goods to the firm’s customers. The goal of the last section is to make sure the firm’s goods are delivered on time, at the right price and without any mechanical damage. As expected, managing the whole supply chain of operations of any company is a critical task that consumes a great portion of the firm’s resources, therefore only by understanding the internal and external elements that affects the supply chain can a company compete in today’s market place.

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