Product development is the set of activities beginning with the perception of a market opportunity and ending in the production, sale, and delivery of a product which adds value to the intended customer’s life. It includes the complete and systematic process of bringing a new product to market. A successful product is typically characterised by:
- Innovation in the features it offers or how it reaches an outcome
- Innovation in the processes through which it was created
- Innovation in how it is manufactured and how the engineering challenges are resolved
- Has design qualities that are pleasing to the intended customer
At LTH, machine design was introduced as an academic discipline in the mid-1960s. In the early 1970s, the original concept of Integrated Product Development (IPD) was established in close cooperation with researchers from DTU in Denmark. The introduction of Product Renewal in the late 1980s expanded the product development process to include the pre-product development activities that constitute the core pursuit of the Product Innovation process.
From the end of the 1980s up to the present, our focus has been on developing design methods, design techniques and design tools. One example is the introduction of computer-based design analysis in the early phases of the engineering design process. In 2006, robotics and additive manufacturing (3D printing) became integral parts of the research and education in product development.
In 2014, to reflect our broadening international connections, and the growing breadth of what we do, we have rebranded the division to Product Development.
The overall objective established for Product Development is to provide front-end results in research and education within engineering design, product development and product innovation.