The meaning of Simultaneous Engineering to Industrial RFID

Simultaneous engineering, also know as “concurrent engineering” is not a new idea. It has been around for many years now. “Simul” engineering is a workflow that instead of working sequentially through stages of product development and process development, these stages are carried out in parallel.

Automotive companies have adopted this methodology for years now to optimize design, reduce costs and the development time. It allows companies to run both product and process design simultaneously. This also allows automotive companies to bring innovation and new features to market at an ever faster pace to battle for today’s automotive and technology savvy customers.

This also means that while automotive companies, for example, are developing the process, integrators are developing the process and engineering for the production line. For most automation suppliers, including RFID products, they must now be ready to provide their most innovative and cost effective products as soon as a process design is awarded or even announced. In olden days, automation product companies that served this industry had the luxury of developing products for the needs of its customers when the customers made their requests for features or functionality at the beginning of a products development. Suppliers had plenty of time to then develop what was being requested before it would have been required on the production line. But today manufactures like Balluff who make RFID products for this and other industries, innovative product design must be anticipated and created before the process it will be used in is created, eliminating the luxury once enjoyed.

Simul engineering is here to stay in automotive and not surprising, now being adopted in many others. So the challenge is clear. As RFID suppliers, we must stay in constant contact with the industries we serve to see the trends before they arrive so we can anticipate our customers needs, not allow our technology to become outdated and have the products they need ready when our customers are ready. Communication is critical more now then ever before, and with both the process developers and the integrators/implementers. It will be critical that RFID users are encouraged to continue to also be willing to share their needs and in many cases, help guide the technology for their needs. This will continue to insure that RFID users get what they need when they need it and at the right price that will continue to get them the competitive edge they want and deserve.

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3 Responses

  1. This is always a risk you take when creating new technology, especially if it is customer specific. If the product is very unique, specifically for that customer and cannot be applied to another application, I suppose you really must depend on your sales force to lock in that customers commitment. The real challenge here would be to make sure you get enough industry feedback to design the product so it can be applied to many customers instead of just one. This is really where staying in close contact and communicating with several customers in any particular industry will pay off for everyone.

  2. Mark can you explian what happens if you design a product but the customer or industry you were designing for changes their mind. Perhaps there isanother solition the customer or industry was exloring simultaneously that also solves the problem as well or beter than yours.

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