Digital Engineering

November 22, 2016
Digital Engineering

During the past fifty years, the world is facing an unprecedented digital revolution that affects all aspects of modern society and economy, as well as our daily lives. Nowadays, enterprises and individuals alike are connected to one another and the World Wide Web makes the globe feel like a neighborhood. Our access to knowledge, transport or safety is exponentially augmented and this new global landscape makes today’s businesses eager to become ultra-competitive in order to survive. Manufacturers in almost every industry can capitalize on these technologies. But executives should understand that cultural and organizational change is as important as technology in reaping the full benets of digital engineering.

Truth is that the need to integrate new technologies in new products has always been immense but, the world being a unified marketplace, companies feel the urge to push products out the door as soon as possible. 

Digital engineering is essentially the concept of using the principles of digital design and process management technologies to deal with issues raised throughout the development life of a product. The solutions provided could be either hardware or software based and aim at increasing the profitability and efficiency of the end product and the companies involved.

In today’s testing environments, the clients still suffer from too many field issues. Digital engineering hopes to eliminate them thus providing the following benefits:

  • Loss of money and time is prevented
  • User experience is improved
  • Business reputation remains intact
  • Overall quality of the product is increased
  • Maintenance cost is lowered
  • Compliance with standards and regulations

Building on the knowledge captured digitally, manufacturers can drive down product design-costs & cycle times having virtual simulation & collaboration tools.
Virtual simulators create value by reducing the number of physical tests needed to validate a new product. Simulators provide early warnings about design aws that in the past wouldn’t have become apparent until much later in the product development cycle, when they caused a costly physical test failure.

Although simulation will never eliminate the need for physical testing completely, software now can replicate the operation of all major vehicle & engine systems, like combustion & electronics. Developed-by in house programmers at a considerable expense in the past, simulation programs starting so as to become more available in o-the-shelf formats from suppliers.

In addition, virtual simulation gives the developers and testers a tool to dynamically create different test environments at the right time in the development cycle. Research shows that the most successful digital engineering programs drive change in three critical areas:

  • New tools that facilitate “market-back” concept development and knowledge capture and reuse
  • New collaborative product design systems that enable virtual testing capabilities
  • New organizational structures, processes, and tools that foster a new approach to engineering

Technology alone won’t turn product development into a competitive advantage. To realize the full potential of digital engineering, manufacturers must adopt the right cultural norms, organizational structures, processes, and tools. Manufacturers that harness the full potential of digital engineering can turn product development into a powerful competitive dierentiator. But it takes more than technology — manufacturers must also make the cultural and organizational changes needed to capitalize on digital engineering.

Share this Post
featured tweets