of the IPD computational-tool-based optimization process. The constraints of materials are only considered outside the IPD multidisciplinary design loop, and materials are a fixed and limiting constraint on the overall IPD process rather than a parameter that can be optimized along with other engineering parameters. The allowable list of materials may be taken as fixed or it may include a small subset of materials that are evaluated outside the optimization loop. This approach narrows the design space, resulting in suboptimal product performance.1 Conversely, the development of the optimal materials, currently a lengthy and expensive process, does not benefit from integration of the materials and materials-manufacturing development processes into the product optimization process.

Although there have been several successful demonstrations of ICME applications within industry (see the case studies discussed in Chapter 2), as Lesson Learned 1 from that chapter indicates, ICME is still in its infancy and ICME technologies remain immature. Indeed, in the committee’s judgment, gaps between the available and the ideal computational models and methods will persist for some time. While this does not preclude the development of an ICME capability for a particular material or application, it can make the capability much more difficult to achieve. Moreover, and perhaps more important, for many industrial firms the existence of ICME and its benefits are unknown. The engineering organizations that have experimented with the application of ICME have judiciously selected engineering challenges with near-term ICME opportunities. Focused sets of materials tools have been or are being integrated to address a specific engineering component and material system. However, the committee knows of no organization where ICME is fully institutionalized or represents the norm for the product development process.

Inertia in the Engineering Design Community

The relatively rapid adoption by industry of the IPD process and computationally based multidisciplinary design optimization (MDO) indicates that the integration of engineering tools and computation has become and will remain a critical element in product design and development. However, the insertion of materials into this loop to improve product design and optimization may actually be impeded by industry’s prior investment in and commitment to existing integrated engineering tools and processes. The competing business forces that encourage and dissuade ICME implementation are shown in Figure 4-1. Many engineering


The design space is the set of possible designs and design parameters that meet a specific product requirement. Exploring the design space means evaluating the various design options possible with a given technology and optimizing the chosen option with respect to specific constraints such as power or cost.

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