Producibility engineering is a coordinative discipline with the design function of the industrial organization. Through this coordinative approach we strive to optimize the process of producing the company's products. We cannot, however, simply isolate the manufacturing engineering subset called producibility engineering and discuss it and its techniques without introducing the concept of concurrent engineering (sometimes referred to as design for manufacturability). The work of a producibility engineer is in many aspects an inter-functional one. It deals with finding the pragmatic limits of feasibility for manufacturing and still meeting the intent of the design. In this case, the relationship is between manufacturing engineering and design engineering. When we expand beyond the manufacturing and design engineering relationship to include the entire industrial organization, we enter the domain of concurrent engineering.
The concurrent engineering concept unites all functions of a company into a team for conceiving, designing, manufacturing, marketing, and distributing a product in an integrated and optimal approach. Just as the name suggests, all this work is done in a concurrent approach. Producibility engineering is at the same time a root of the concurrent engineering philosophy and a subset of it, as a member of the concurrent engineering team. Therefore, in this chapter we explore producibility engineering as a prelude to and within the concurrent engineering concept. We will see how producibility engineering techniques are used in this unifying concept.
In this chapter we define the concurrent engineering role in modern manufacturing and then focus on the producibility engineering aspects of that role. We look at the techniques in which producibility engineering leads the concurrent engineering team, and also identify areas where producibility engineering assists other functions.