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Tools to support the interaction between product development and production of complex products in SME's


Product development employees from SME-factories for complex products, like machine builders, often have not enough time available to deliver all drawings at once with the right quality. Partially, their lack of is caused by efforts, consumed by redesign activities afterwards. Such circumstances results in loses of valuable design resources and in avoidable failure costs in the subsequent order stages. To overcome these circular chain of events two problem solving directions can be chosen: attracting additional human resources, and/or delivering tools to support development employees with a time-saving and quality increasing effect. Because of lack of time and available supporting tools, besides the already applied CAD and CAD-CAM systems, the communication between the design department and the process planning and production is poor, and frequently the message is deformed. The state-of-the-art concerning existing supporting software modules, like FMEA, DFMA, QFD, producibility a.s.o., is that they are developed as stand-alone solutions. only suitable for large companies. In order to improve the situation, especially at SME's, it is necessary to provide supporting tools for the product development. Objective is to develop a target model, which incorporates checklists. working methods and software. These checklists can be a combination of available lists and checklists which will be developed. Some checklists will be linked directly to the working methods. Based on SME user requirements, the most promising part of the target model, will be developed in a framework prototype software, in which specific enterprise data can be filled, and the software user can handle the required information in a human-friendly way. This software will be tested and evaluated on SME-cases. As a promising basis for this software, prototype software from the EUREKA-MONQUIS project, developed by both involved R&D partners, will be used. MONQUIS supports in processing of the deviations at products, processes, and documentation and also from-quality related instructions during the running order processes. BRlTE-EURAM-QUALICUT, in which the proposed R&D partner TNO participated. can play its role in producibility matters . Benefits of the envisaged TOSIDAC tools are: an improved interaction between product development and production, reduced loss of valuable design resources, less avoidable internal and external failure costs in the subsequent order stages with 3% of yearly turn-over), accelerate time-to-market performance with 30%, less stress in the working environment, an improved span-of-control, a higher safety performance of the products, less waste of materials and energy, and a better registration of and access to enterprise knowledge. TOSIDAC will be a tool to support continuous improvement on the interaction between product development and production.

Funding Scheme

EAW - Exploratory awards


Markhorst Holland BV
7770 AE Hardenberg