The contributions and consequences of simulation tools and digital mock-ups on design and production as applied to the automobile and aeronautics industries

Publication Type:

Journal Article


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Volume 8, Number 3, p.350-368 (2008)



In order to reduce costs and deadlines while increasing product differentiation and variety, companies make use of Digital Mock-Ups (DMUs) and rapid prototyping (virtual and physical models). These allow them to anticipate (a long way upstream) questions which may arise later. The considerable development of simulation tools and prototyping has transformed the way in which products are developed. Thus, the use of a digital chain of information that goes from the expression of a product idea right through to recycling, passing through the phases of conception, production and commercialisation (Product Life Cycle Management (PLM)), has become a priority. This involves removing the separation between the world of planning and the world of production. It permits a shared nomenclature, better access to information, better anticipation and, hence, simulation at the earliest possible stage. Having said that, the approach is relatively new and using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in design and production is full of hurdles and setbacks. Finally, the experience feedback of the new usages of DMUs, virtual platforms and collaborative work highlights the importance of the strategic, organisational, cultura and human dimensions that are associated with technological innovation. The deployment of Information Technology (IT) has completely changed work practices. Copyright © 2008 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

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