Design of complex engineering systems is increasingly becoming a collaborative task among designers or design teams that are physically, geographically, and temporally distributed. The complexity of modern products means that a single designer or design team can no longer manage the complete product development effort. Developing products without sufficient expertise in a broad set of disciplines can result in extended product development cycles, higher development costs, and quality problems. On the other hand, ensuring comprehensive technical proficiency in a world where trends are toward more multidisciplinary design can become a costly undertaking for a company. Driven by such issues, companies are increasingly staffing only their core competencies in-house and depending on other firms to provide the complementary design knowledge and design effort needed for a complete product. Designers are no longer merely exchanging geometric data, but also more general knowledge about design and the product development process, including specifications, design rules, constraints, and rationale. Furthermore, this exchange of knowledge more and more often crosses corporate boundaries. As design becomes increasingly knowledge-intensive and collaborative, the need for computational frameworks to support a collaborative product development environment becomes more critical. There are several research and development issues that need to be addressed for the effective realization of such a collaborative design environment. These issues, along with relevant papers from this special issue, are discussed.
Citation: Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering
Pub Type: Journals
collaborative engineering, collaborative product, collaborative task, computational framework, design, product development