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 customers and other stakeholders. It involves the overall process of strategy, organization, concept generation, use of different technologies, application of various tools and techniques, creation of product and marketing plans, and commercialization of a new product. The term ‘product’ refers to all goods, services, and knowledge sold. Products can be tangible, as in the case of physical goods, or intangible providing service benefits for users, or combinations of the two. In essence, products are bundles of attributes (features, functions, benefits, and uses). Successful product development is typically characterised by:
- Products that provide value to stakeholders and are attractive to customers
- Balanced product portfolios
- Efficiency in terms of short development cycles, costs and use of resources
- Cross-disciplinary and parallel development activities
- Consideration of features related to the entire product life cycle
Our ambition is to provide front-end results in research and education within engineering design, product development and product innovation.
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- development activities that constitute the core pursuit of the Product Innovation process.
From the end of the 1980s, 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 rebranded the division to Product Development.