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Getting physical: tangibles in a distributed virtual environment
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Innovation and Design.
2006 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The design of products is an increasingly complex task, where companies do not have and do not want the in-house competence to manage the development of entire products. Consequently, companies outsource parts of product development projects to other companies or join in partnerships. There is also an industrial shift of focus towards offering a total offer, i.e. selling functions instead of products. The function provider will have the responsibility of the physical artefact throughout the lifecycle and also have the capacity to continually improve the customer value through innovations. Hence, the provider will be able to reengineer, reuse and recycle the physical artefact. This puts new demands on the product development process, in which the total offer is not being offered by a single company because there is simply too much risk in such a commitment. To supply a total offer companies must collaborate closer than before, by exchanging among other things, intellectual properties in new temporary organizations (i.e. extended enterprise), permitting each partner to thus focus on their core competence. The total offer commitment promotes intense collaboration. Partners in the extended enterprise will most likely be geographically dispersed; therefore, tools and methods for distributed collaborative work are becoming increasingly important. Physical artefacts still play a predominant role in the product development process, even though virtual prototyping is used in everyday operations. The tangibility of physical artefacts makes them easy to use in design discourse (e.g. in design reviews, prototype evaluation). When performing design in distributed teams, a need to share physical objects will inevitably occur. This thesis presents the development of a new solution for distributed collaborative work that focuses on physical objects instead of person to person video conferencing. The author studied a design team at a leading industrial company in Sweden that used mock-ups as an integral part of their design process. Insights of their interaction with physical artefacts provided the requirements for a new type of collaborative tool for distributed work. The presented system allows remote collaborators a first- person view of physical artefacts or environments, e.g. mock-ups. This licentiate thesis also presents how the design process changed with the introduction of the new tool, i.e. remote engineers can share their "virtual" CAD data simultaneously with the technician situated at the prototype, who shares his "physical" data with the engineers. The new tools also provided unexpected support for co-located meetings, enabling users to look behind panels and view items that were normally hidden from their sight.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå tekniska universitet, 2006. , 44 p.
Licentiate thesis / Luleå University of Technology, ISSN 1402-1757 ; 2006:01
Research subject
Computer Aided Design; Functional Product Development
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-17083Local ID: 17e6c480-9fb8-11db-8975-000ea68e967bOAI: diva2:990078
ProViking - Development of Functional Products in a Distributed Virtual Environment
Godkänd; 2006; 20070109 (haneit)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29Bibliographically approved

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