The role of testing in the engineering product development process

Tahera, Khadija; Earl, Christopher and Eckert, Claudia (2012). The role of testing in the engineering product development process. In: Proceedings of TMCE 2012, 7-11 May 2012, Karlsruhe, Germany.



Testing is essential in developing a successful complex engineering product. System level integration and testing can use between 25 and 50% of development resources. External factors such as legislation and customer requirements drive essential testing whilst internal factors such company experience, affordability and organizational practice frame the overall testing plan. The main objective of this paper is to understand how testing is integrated into the product development process and how different types of testing are scheduled across the stages of product development. The paper reports a case study in a diesel engine company where the balance of virtual and physical testing is a key concern in reducing design time and costs. The importance of dependencies across components, subsystems and tests is highlighted and a model using Design Structure Matrices proposed. Of particular interest are requirements analysis and FMEA stages where testing is planned and resourced Integrating physical and virtual testing is more than process optimization of time and cost. It contributes to recasting the design process in response to change, both in new customer requirements and contingently in design changes which arise during product development.

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