Simultaneous Engineering & Concurrent Engineering

Simultaneous Engineering and Concurrent Engineering are two different names for the same thing. The term ‘Simultaneous Engineering’ seems to be used more in Europe and ‘Concurrent Engineering’ seems to be more prevalent in the USA.

They both refer to the idea that to shorten the timescale of a project several tasks can happen in parallel (or at least partly in parallel), rather than sequentially, and that multi-disciplinary teams should work together, rather than ‘throwing things over the wall’.

Although these ideas had been floating around from the end of the 19th Century, they were brought into focus in the West in the 1980’s, following publications describing Japanese industrial practices that gave them competitive advantage. Then in 1989 the First National Symposium on Concurrent Engineering held in Morgantown, WV, USA on the 23-24 May 1989 and Nevins & Whitney published their book, ‘Concurrent Design of Products and Processes: A Strategy for the Next Generation in Manufacturing’.

There is a strong link to Design for Manufacture & Assembly (DFMA), because the initial focus was on incorporating early manufacturing engineering input, so as to ensure manufacturability, rather than throwing a supposedly finished design over the wall to manufacturing, only to find it being thrown back for changes to be made in the design so that the parts could be made economically (or at all in some cases).

Over the wall

 

Nowadays most of the top companies use Concurrent Engineering, and an Integrated Project Team (IPT) approach, and not just for manufacturing input, but other aspects too.

Concurrent and Simultaneous Engineering

 

However not everyone does and we are happy to talk to anyone who is thinking of going that way or wants to improve how they do it.

Please contact us, because there are potential issues in changing from ‘sequential’ to ‘overlapping’ and we can help you overcome them.