The methodology of product and process design has always started with problem identification and the establishment of design goals, before working towards a set of solutions at the brainstorming stage.
However, design solutions derived from the brainstorming process are traditionally based on numerous assumptions – due to the shortage of measurable design inputs, often sourced from subjective customer feedback at the end of a previous product development cycle.
While the approach in product and process design has not changed much, the evolution of engineering design has seen tremendous advances – particularly with respect to the availability of measurable information, which converts to a reduction in the levels of design assumptions throughout the development process.
The data-driven economy, arriving through the advent of e-commerce platforms and rapid online application development has created an ecosystem where data such as customer behaviour, testimonials, manufacturing performance, sales trends have allowed access to huge amounts of logged raw data.
This raw data – when organised, analysed and interpreted – provide industry, academia and governments the large scale scenario insights into the socio-economic landscape of national and global markets.
The advent of big data analysis (BDA) and Smart IoT (Internet of things) will now be an important technology in order to support the design community in creating products that are rapidly optimised for the different markets around the world.
Besides this, design technology in itself has improved tremendously on the fringe of BDA and Smart IoT penetration.
MARii’s Design Engineering & Prototyping (DEP) programme, established since 2014, is based on the 3D experience platform which allows collaborative design with off-site teams through the cloud.
The same technology, when coupled with advances in BDA and IoT, unlocks a library of information for more accurate product designs that are more elastic to the nuances of consumer demands across different markets and segments.
For example, data collected from telemetry derived from on-board diagnostics systems – which have been readily available on modern cars – provide better insight into the development of engines, powertrain, chassis and suspension systems.
The same example above transitions into the testing and manufacturing stages.
Big data management systems allow for accurate engineering inputs during post-processing and calculation stages when predicting temperature profiles, fuel and exhaust flow or even crash simulations.
The same data set can be reorganised to develop appropriate tooling, manufacturing workflows and standard operating procedures, while automating production planning and control, quality assurance systems as well as logistics and delivery optimisation.
Most importantly, big data is a technology that transcends beyond the automotive industry, finding itself in applications for numerous sectors such as agriculture, plantations, fisheries, furniture design, etc.
This week, Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) will preview its BDA & IoT showcase at its headquarters in Cyberjaya, binding together the myriad of applications and programmes that have been developed in line with Industry 4.0 since the National Automotive Policy was launched.
The showcase features various big data technology that will impact the automotive industry and relevant sectors, that are expected to drive future connected mobility in fields such as data science, vehicle to vehicle communication, and most importantly predictive analysis tools that future-proof the upstream activities of future automotive design.
These programmes and technologies have been developed by MARii to accelerate the growth and development of the Malaysian design community, overcoming investment anxiety and spurring the initiation of learning curves for both business owners and the talents that reside within such businesses.
More intervention programmes to accelerate the development of the design community will be announced in the near future, covering the various design disciplines and technologies that are expected to be in demand in the future mobility industry.
Interested parties may contact me or my team through the various communication channels set up by MARii through email, social media (@MARiiMalaysia) or our website at (www.marii.my)
The writer is the chief executive officer of the Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii)