Tools and collaboration in distributed rapid product development
In order to follow changes of the global economic the requirements on product development and manufacturing processes changed extremely in the last decade. There are more products with higher complexity that must be produced with the same quality in shorter time. This leads to distribution of the development activities and close cooperation with the suppliers and their experts. Efficient control of distributed development is still a basic problem in the industrial environment. Although the experts already have to cooperate with a very high level of knowlege exchange, there is still a lack of concepts and methods that allow determined cooperation even beyond organizational bordes. Specific constraints of cooperation and different workflow processes in the distributed product development must be defined and specified before staring new collabration networks. For a network scenario of activities and information exchange should be welldefined and elaborated. In this paper necessary activities of specification and constitution of collaboration processes in Rapid Product Development are presented. In order to accelerate and improve the knowlege exchange and extraction of the required information, demands on specific supporting tools are discussed and examples are presented. Thereby aspects such as control of virtual networks and specific expertise of partners at an early point of the development process included.