This paper describes a computer-based system called the design management system (DMS) that was developed to manage and coordinate distributed engineering design activity. Issues relating to the control of distributed design coordination are discussed from the context of engineering design. Key features of the DMS as well as proposals for future developments are described. Distributed design activity is coordinated and managed using the DMS within an industrial case study. The DMS demonstrated significant improvements in timeliness when compared with manual process-enactment techniques (64% reduction in process time compared with previous methods). Further potential system improvements are identified relating to operational coordination.
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