Design Engineering in the Age of Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is based on the digitization of manufacturing industries and has raised the prospect for substantial improvements in productivity, quality, and customer satisfaction. This digital transformation not only affects the way products are manufactured, but also creates new opportunities for the design of products, processes, services, and systems. Unlike traditional design practices based on system-centric concepts, design for these new opportunities requires a holistic view of the human (stakeholder), artefact (product) and process (realization) dimensions of the design problem. This paper envisions a ‘human-cyber-physical view of the systems realization ecosystem’, termed as ‘Design Engineering 4.0’, to reconceptualize how cyber and physical technologies can be seamlessly integrated to identify and fulfil customer needs and garner the benefits of Industry 4.0. In this paper, we review the evolution of design engineering in response to advances in several strategic areas including smart and connected products, end-to-end digital integration, customization and personalization, data-driven design, digital twins and intelligent design automation, extended supply chains and agile collaboration networks, open innovation, co-creation and crowdsourcing, product servitization, anything-as-a-service, and platformization for the sharing economy. We postulate that Design Engineering 4.0 will account for drivers such as Internet of Things, Internet of People, Internet of Services, and Internet of Commerce to deliver on the promise of Industry 4.0. Further, we identify key issues to be addressed in Design Engineering 4.0 and engage the Design Community on the challenges of the future.

Source : Journal of Mechanical Design

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