Over the past several decades, processes to design and build cars, airplanes, and other products have typically followed a linear, sequential path. But the inefficient flow of information has frequently led to delays in product delivery. To remedy the situation, product development groups are shifting to a more holistic digital mindset using digital business models, processes, and tools. By embracing digital like never before, product developers can become fully integrated digital businesses and, therefore, well positioned to be more competitive.
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Foundational elements include electronics documents, computer-aided-design models, computer-aided engineering and simulation, and electronic product development workflows. Tools required include innovation management, portfolio management, systems engineering, digital manufacturing and simulation, technology publications, and supplier collaboration. Over the past several years, 3D printing, a type of manufacturing using digital models, has already proven of value in several manufacturing industries