With NPD/I, there are no hard and fast rules to determine the length of such projects and quite often over a 10-year period several hundred projects could come into being, and this quite often coincides with huge advances in technology over the same period. This advancement in technology has often taken over the role of the designer carrying out calculations and providing solutions. This has resulted in certain cases; designers having very little to no understanding or practical experience of the manufacturing processes and the design calculations required to ratify product designs. The resultant loss of information and intent and the lack of exploitation of manufacturing constraints and product knowledge can and quite often lead to product re-design and in some cases failure in the hands of the customer. Research carried out here has studied knowledge management and the knowledge required to support the development of new products within the cold roll forming industry and analyses whether knowledge management to support product development can be defined as lean product development.
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