Concurrent Engineering (CE) is concerned with improving the product development process by the consideration, during the early stages of product design, of the disparate factors associated with the life cycle of the product. An extensive body of research has emerged in CE focused mainly on the internal operations of an enterprise. However, early participation of suppliers and customers in CE, in what may be termed integrated enterprise CE, is generally considered to be of significant benefit. While integrated enterprise CE may be of considerable advantage, there still remains the need for a methodology for modeling the integrated enterprise CE process, connecting suppliers, manufacturers and customers as a seamless network. Such a methodology for modeling the integrated enterprise CE process will give insights on how to improve the system performance. What is giving added urgency to the need for such a methodology are the recent developments in communications, primarily based on Internet technologies, that readily allow for the linking of information systems between organizations. This paper aims to address this need for a methodology by describing an approach to modeling integrated enterprise CE, called Trans-Nets, that allows for an abstraction of information, removing many of the complexities, while retaining the ability to analyze the more important characteristics of the system. The computer implementation of the Trans-Nets approach, in a system called Trans, is then described. Finally, an industry example is presented to illustrate how Trans-Nets can be applied to integrated enterprise CE.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Modeling and Simulation
- Computer Science Applications