A Framework for Implementing Simulation-Driven Design
Abstract: Simulation-Driven Design (SDD) is an approach where simulations are performed throughout the entire design process with the intention to explore options and guide the user, as opposed to just verify or falsify a design in the later stages of the process. From enabling and promoting early simulation usage by design engineers (DEs), a company can expect to have their lead times reduced, costs cut and quality of products increased. Despite having adopted the technology, companies have yet to adapt their workforce and processes to reap the benets of proper simulation usage. The purpose of this thesis project was to develop a framework for implementing SDD in product developing companies, and to investigate its preconditions. Market intelligence on traits of Bestin-Class companies was summarized and aggregated with theory on technology implementation, resistance to change, and change management. The framework was then developed based on this aggregation and consists of four phases: Map, Analyze, Execute, and Review. In total, the phases are made up of 19 stages that focus on processes that enable SDD. Through interviewing DEs, specialists and managers, it was found that most companies have a lot of room for improvement. The most concerning issue identied was that simulation is not considered an enterprise question, i.e. simulation and enabling processes are rarely discussed. Also, simulation results are handled poorly, simulation is not used in a standardized way, and the communication between DEs and managers is lacking. We believe that if simulation would be an enterprise question, the processes that enable SDD would be developed naturally and the previously mentioned preconditions would not be apparent. Preconditions enabling an implementation were however also found, for example, attitudes toward simulation is positive, DEs would not react negatively to mandatory training, and there is a perceived need for more simulation. As every company is somewhat different, the framework must not be used as a manuscript, but rather as a guide. It is not a necessity to meet all the stages perfectly, but rather the ones that are most important to the situation at hand. Given the preconditions, the importance and potential benet of using the framework is evident. We believe the presence of an implementation project based on this framework will suffice to make simulation a big enough topic to thrive and anchorin an organization's foundation.
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