Title: Learning about design and development: the roles of industrial design and concurrent engineering

Authors: Pekka Kess, Pekka Belt, Janne Harkonen, Pornthep Anussornnitisarn, Kongkiti Phusavat

Addresses: Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4610, 90014, Oulu, Finland. ' Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4610, 90014, Oulu, Finland. ' Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4610, 90014, Oulu, Finland. ' Department of Industrial Engineering, Kasetsart University Bangkok 10900, Thailand. ' Department of Industrial Engineering, Kasetsart University Bangkok 10900, Thailand

Abstract: This research examines a design and development process for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). SMEs have to perform this process well for business success. The study tackles the confusion over the roles of Industrial Design (ID) within this process. This confusion potentially hinders SMEs| long-term competitiveness. The study is part of the Concurrent Design in Networks (CODENET) project in Finland, which focuses on improving ID in design and development. A total of six case companies from the Oulu region are observed and studied. The findings show that the confusion highlights various perceived roles of ID, a lack of interaction and two-way communication, external design sources, etc. In an attempt to address these problems, a practical framework, derived from Concurrent Engineering (CE), is jointly proposed to case companies. This framework stresses the importance of working together across functional units within and outside an SME. It should be recognised that this framework is mainly for business-to-business circumstances.

Keywords: industrial design; concurrent engineering; simultaneous engineering; innovation; product design; product development; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; networks; Finland; business-to-business; B2B; collaboration; collaborative design; learning.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIL.2009.026650

International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 2009 Vol.6 No.6, pp.659 - 671

Published online: 22 Jun 2009 *

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