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Research produces automated planning systems for product development

New software has been developed that will make it possible to produce a product development plan in 90 minutes which would previously have taken a full year.

The research, which has made this possible was conducted by Dr Dave Pearce at the University of Hertfordshire's School of Aerospace, Automotive and Design Engineering (AADE), was awarded the Chancellor's Medal for Outstanding Achievement in a Doctoral Research Programme yesterday (20 November) at the University's annual awards ceremony at the Cathedral and Abbey Church St Alban.

Dr Pearce, who is now a Principal Lecturer in AADE, spent 20 years working as a design and manufacturing engineer, during which he became aware of the need to reduce the time needed to bring a product to market so that there is a better return on investment.

He embarked on his Doctoral Research in Project Management in the Support of Product Development Implementation in 2001 during which he developed software to automate the process from post-design right through to product implementation.

The software, which is geared towards the automotive industry but could also be used in other manufacturing and business sectors, will allow much better intelligence within the manufacturing process and facilitate the development of a coherent plan which will facilitate a number of 'what-if' scenarios.

"In the car industry, for example, there are hundreds of thousands of parts which could result in about six hundred thousand activities," said Dr Pearce. "This system will simplify this process and make significant savings. For example, if we can get a car on to the market three months earlier than usual, we could save businesses millions of pounds."

The University introduced the Chancellor’s Medal for Outstanding Achievement in a Doctoral Research Programme this year to celebrate excellence in research in PhDs and Doctoral research programmes and to recognise the quality research being carried out in the research institutes. The award honours outstanding research of value in its field.

Helene Murphy | alfa
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