Advances in automobile attributes such as styling, performance, quality, and efficiency are relatively fast and noticeable over the years, advances in automobile design, development, and production processes have been slow and incremental. The automobile production process, for example, moved from craft to mass production, through the introduction of standardized parts and assembly lines by Henry Ford, then to lean production by TOYOTA Motor Company over several decades. The automobile design and development processes have been even slower. The physical build paradigm has constrained the automobile design and development process causing very slow advancement towards full utilization of virtual modeling and simulations. In fact, companies who have succeeded to reduce the design and development time and cost have done so through the slow and gradual injection of virtual modeling and simulation in the design process. While the rates of these injections have increased from very limited utilization, in the late seventies, to considerable utilization today the design and development processes themselves are still immersed in the physical build paradigm. So far, these slow virtual injections have not been sufficient to cause the needed change in the foundation of the design and development process for maximizing the time and cost savings. It should be realized that full benefits will not be achieved as long as virtual modeling and simulations are injected to support the traditional design and development processes. Therefore, a paradigms shift from the traditional physical build design and development thinking is needed. In addition, fully integrated and balanced design processes utilizing correlated virtual models and simulations with minimum physical build, to validate the outcomes of key process phases, must be developed.
Last date updated on July, 2014