Products are increasingly functional accumulated - from integrating mechatronic solutions, to an Internet connection - functionalities are realized now, which seemed impossible just a couple of years ago.
Examples are the concepts of Industry 4.0 and in automotive engineering the transformation of drive systems to hybridized or all electric drive systems as well as the concept of Seamless Mobility. It is understood as a mobility that is easily accessible, intermodal, interconnected, safe, secure, effective and efficient in order to be affordable, valuecreating, environmentally friendly, resilient and acceptable in a mixed mobility system of automated and conventional means of transport.
This development is inevitably linked to the increasing complexity and intricacy of products and a significantly increased development risk, since more and more subsystems have to be developed and integrated. At the same time global competition leads to high price pressure and therefore cost pressure. Customers are able to purchase premium quality solutions at a low price; hence costs for future complex solutions are playing an important role for the development process. Thereby lies special emphasis on the aspect of PGE - Product Generation Engineering. Most of the products are developed in generation, i.e. a new product is in general based on a reference product that is to be replaced or to challenge the competition in the market. With a consistent realization of PGE as foundation of the development process, high rationalization potential may be achieved through reusing knowledge in regard of product solutions, as well as methods and models. However today’s scientific approaches for product engineering failed to take into account the aspect of PGE. Today’s academic and investigated concepts are typically based on the principle that a product has to be developed completely new “starting with a blank sheet of paper”. And methods are adopted accordingly. Investigations in practice demonstrate that the approaches of classical product development theory are rarely applied and implemented in practice. One of the reasons for this is that the methods do not represent reality and do not consider the link to PGE and reference products. PGE was developed in the past years at the KIT. It is able to represent real product engineering and therefore enable the development of new and adopted methods for the development practice. A further example of this research is iPeM Integrated Product Engineering Model. It is based on the concept of PGE and serves at the moment as a foundation for the revision of VDI guideline 2221.
The institutes of the KIT Mobility Systems Center work on concepts of product engineering research together, to investigate methods and processes for the development practice.
„quod vide: Albers in foreword of the publisher to volume 93 in IPEK-Forschungsberichte.“