The first Workshop on 'Concurrent Engineering for Space Applications' took place at ESTEC on 30 September and 1 October 2004.
About 100 specialist engineers from five international and national space agencies, space industry including primes, and academia attended this event. They contributed their valuable knowledge and experience through formal papers and discussions.
The opening address, given by the Director of ESTEC, Michel Courtois, gave the workshop insights into his positive experience of Concurrent Engineering (CE) in space engineering. What followed included information on space agencies and industrial primes operational CE facilities, technical details on current methods and developments, integration of distributed centres involved in space engineering and projects and the exchange of data and the associated need for standards and research work carried out at universities.
What emerged during the two days of the workshop from participants who are employing CE in their organisations? The following are examples of the many enthusiastic reactions:
The CE approach is beneficial for staff because it allows them to get a broader view of engineering design – Paul de Florio, NASA-JPL, Project Design Center.
You will get really big benefits from CE. It really does work and we were able to halve our delivery time and reduce costs by 50%. It's all about interacting in a way in which everyone has an involvement and engagement in what the final result will be, at all stages – Lester Waugh, EADS Astrium UK.
In Alenia, the Concurrent Development Environment (CODE) is used also to support Phase C/D phases, this is the main purpose – Andrea Martelli, Alenia Spazio.
The point is that you do not let the tool impact the process, you have the process and you use the tool to implement it – Michael Schreuble, EADS Astrium.
We do not ask experimenters (Principal Investigators) and instrument designers at Universities to establish off-line CE methods. We invite them into our facility to link them into the process. In this way they can influence the design immediately – Ross Henderson, ESTEC CDF.
We have to focus on how to manage the information from the various disciplines in a standard way so we can have real-time communication, information exchange for a distributed team – Ralf Hartmann, EADS Astrium.
CE is a state of mind - you can help to put it in place, with tools, with facilities – Massimo Bandecchi, ESTEC CDF.