The use of product representation in industry a survey dealing with product development in Sweden
Paper in proceedings, 2001
This paper presents the results of an inquiry into how product representations are used by industrial companies in Sweden. Consulting companies developing industrially manufactured products also participated in the study. The companies were divided into different groups, depending on number of employees, branch, and geographic location. Of special interest has been studying the adoption of new technological aids, such as virtual reality, in the product development process. In addition, product representations and their relation to product aspects and product development activities (e.g., aesthetics, ergonomics and idea testing) have been of major concern. The study shows that the examined companies made comprehensive use of various product representations for a wide range of activities. Traditional representations such as basic sketches still fulfil a need in the product development process. They are especially important in the early stages, thanks to their intuitive nature and ease of production. The use of the more recent technology, virtual reality, is still limited compared to the other types of product representations examined in the study. Most companies have the basic conditions (3D CAD) for virtual reality, but do not yet have the possibilities or need to invest in the technology.