The role of physical modelling in the design verification stage of the automotive NPI process in the premium sector

Publication Type:

Journal Article


International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, Volume 7, Number 1, p.32-54 (2007)



This paper documents research carried out by the Warwick Manufacturing Group into the valued added to a new vehicle programme through the use of physical models as tools for the design verification process, for automobile manufacturers in the premium sector. The term 'value' is used to encompass factors including vehicle quality and craftsmanship and also addresses development process costs versus the capital costs of the models themselves. A case study performed within a premium automotive manufacturer, demonstrating the quantitative benefits and drawbacks of physical modelling against the growing use of virtual review methods is described. Findings from this study demonstrate that there are still important roles to be played by physical models in the design verification stage of the New Product Introduction (NPI) process. There are also significant implications for an organisation choosing to make a step change from physical to digital design verification. Copyright © 2007 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

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