concurrent engineering

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An approach to the design and introduction of new products that aims to shorten lead times and reduce costs by running development stages in parallel. In traditional systems, each stage in development is discrete, i.e. production planning can only begin when the product design has been finalized. In concurrent engineering, production planning will start as soon as there is a reasonable level of confidence in the likely outcome of the preceding phase. In this way, not only is each stage able to start earlier but it is also able to provide feedback that helps to optimize the preceding stage. This approach has been facilitated by the development of computer-integrated manufacturing systems. Full exploitation may require application of business process re-engineering techniques.

Subjects: Business and Management.

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