3.1 Concurrent Engineering

3.1 Concurrent Engineering

Concurrent engineering is called by various names, such as simultaneous engineering, cooperative engineering, and co-engineering. Regardless of the name, the process encompasses mutual cooperation between the customer, forging supplier and material supplier from the initial stages of product development.
In its widest sense, concurrent engineering encompasses all phases of product design and development activities, such as defining the envelope of the product to perform the intended function within a forgeable shape, determining draft angles and tolerances, selection and conservation of material, heat treating, finishing and structural interfaces with mating components. The information that is exchanged between the buyer and forger in a Checklist, at the end of Section 2.

Concurrent engineering should begin at the earliest stages of preliminary design and continue through the life cycle of the product. Consider that:

  • Decisions made during design typically drive 70%, and sometimes more, of the product cost. Input from the forging source and material supplier, beginning at the earliest stages of product design, are essential in controlling the end cost of the product.
  • The cost of design revisions increases approximately ten-fold through each stage of product development. For example, a change made during detailed design may cost ten times as much as it would have cost during preliminary design. A change made during prototyping and testing may cost 100 times as much.

Since the forging source is an important member of the concurrent engineering team, early commitment to the supplier is essential. Information for selecting a forging company is given in Section 2.4

Another, often overlooked advantage of concurrent engineering is the opportunity to identify opportunities for cost and weight reductions that can only be detected with the interchange that occurs when all stakeholders are present. The upper control arm shown in Figure 3-1, which is a conversion from a stamping to a forging, is one example.

Communication among members of the concurrent engineering team is also essential. Current technology, such as CAD and CAM, are facilitating communication as original equipment manufacturers and their forging suppliers share and refine databases. Many forging companies are equipped with electronic data transfer to speed communication, resulting in faster time-to-market. Application protocols are being developed for product data representation and exchange.


Figure 3-1 This cold /warm forged upper control arm cost more to produce than its stamped counterpart. However, its use allowed the designers to reduce vehicle length and weight, resulting in a significant secondary cost reduction. (See Case Study 5.)

The major perceived disadvantage of concurrent engineering is that it increases the time spent in preliminary design, when the design staff is anxious to finalize details and release drawings. However, experience has shown that additional up-front time sharply reduces changes in subsequent stages of product development, where changes incur substantially more cost and time.

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3.1 Concurrent Engineering

Concurrent engineering is called by various names, such as simultaneous engineering, cooperative engineering, and co-engineering. Regardless of the name, the process encompasses mutual cooperation between the customer, forging supplier and material supplier from the initial stages of product development.
In its widest sense, concurrent engineering encompasses all phases of product design and development activities, such as defining the envelope of the product to perform the intended function within a forgeable shape, determining draft angles and tolerances, selection and conservation of material, heat treating, finishing and structural interfaces with mating components. The information that is exchanged between the buyer and forger in a Checklist, at the end of Section 2.

Concurrent engineering should begin at the earliest stages of preliminary design and continue through the life cycle of the product. Consider that:

  • Decisions made during design typically drive 70%, and sometimes more, of the product cost. Input from the forging source and material supplier, beginning at the earliest stages of product design, are essential in controlling the end cost of the product.
  • The cost of design revisions increases approximately ten-fold through each stage of product development. For example, a change made during detailed design may cost ten times as much as it would have cost during preliminary design. A change made during prototyping and testing may cost 100 times as much.

Since the forging source is an important member of the concurrent engineering team, early commitment to the supplier is essential. Information for selecting a forging company is given in Section 2.4

Another, often overlooked advantage of concurrent engineering is the opportunity to identify opportunities for cost and weight reductions that can only be detected with the interchange that occurs when all stakeholders are present. The upper control arm shown in Figure 3-1, which is a conversion from a stamping to a forging, is one example.

Communication among members of the concurrent engineering team is also essential. Current technology, such as CAD and CAM, are facilitating communication as original equipment manufacturers and their forging suppliers share and refine databases. Many forging companies are equipped with electronic data transfer to speed communication, resulting in faster time-to-market. Application protocols are being developed for product data representation and exchange.


Figure 3-1 This cold /warm forged upper control arm cost more to produce than its stamped counterpart. However, its use allowed the designers to reduce vehicle length and weight, resulting in a significant secondary cost reduction. (See Case Study 5.)

The major perceived disadvantage of concurrent engineering is that it increases the time spent in preliminary design, when the design staff is anxious to finalize details and release drawings. However, experience has shown that additional up-front time sharply reduces changes in subsequent stages of product development, where changes incur substantially more cost and time.

Return to Table of Contents

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3.1 Concurrent Engineering

Concurrent engineering is called by various names, such as simultaneous engineering, cooperative engineering, and co-engineering. Regardless of the name, the process encompasses mutual cooperation between the customer, forging supplier and material supplier from the initial stages of product development.
In its widest sense, concurrent engineering encompasses all phases of product design and development activities, such as defining the envelope of the product to perform the intended function within a forgeable shape, determining draft angles and tolerances, selection and conservation of material, heat treating, finishing and structural interfaces with mating components. The information that is exchanged between the buyer and forger in a Checklist, at the end of Section 2.

Concurrent engineering should begin at the earliest stages of preliminary design and continue through the life cycle of the product. Consider that:

  • Decisions made during design typically drive 70%, and sometimes more, of the product cost. Input from the forging source and material supplier, beginning at the earliest stages of product design, are essential in controlling the end cost of the product.
  • The cost of design revisions increases approximately ten-fold through each stage of product development. For example, a change made during detailed design may cost ten times as much as it would have cost during preliminary design. A change made during prototyping and testing may cost 100 times as much.

Since the forging source is an important member of the concurrent engineering team, early commitment to the supplier is essential. Information for selecting a forging company is given in Section 2.4

Another, often overlooked advantage of concurrent engineering is the opportunity to identify opportunities for cost and weight reductions that can only be detected with the interchange that occurs when all stakeholders are present. The upper control arm shown in Figure 3-1, which is a conversion from a stamping to a forging, is one example.

Communication among members of the concurrent engineering team is also essential. Current technology, such as CAD and CAM, are facilitating communication as original equipment manufacturers and their forging suppliers share and refine databases. Many forging companies are equipped with electronic data transfer to speed communication, resulting in faster time-to-market. Application protocols are being developed for product data representation and exchange.


Figure 3-1 This cold /warm forged upper control arm cost more to produce than its stamped counterpart. However, its use allowed the designers to reduce vehicle length and weight, resulting in a significant secondary cost reduction. (See Case Study 5.)

The major perceived disadvantage of concurrent engineering is that it increases the time spent in preliminary design, when the design staff is anxious to finalize details and release drawings. However, experience has shown that additional up-front time sharply reduces changes in subsequent stages of product development, where changes incur substantially more cost and time.

Return to Table of Contents

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