Computer aided design (CAD) is used in design offices around the world because speed and efficiency is extremely valuable. The idea of Concurrent Design Engineering is a relatively new concept that has improved the speed that designers produce a product. Concurrent Design Engineering is a way to integrate all the processes in design back to a three-dimensional geometric data base or a CAD model. All the steps in designing a product have an opportunity to contribute to and be actively informed of decisions and changes throughout the process of design. CAD has the ability to generate fast, easy to understand models that can be altered with ease and with concurrent design engineering, any changes would be known by everybody involved. Each of the different areas of product design are equally important and some parts of the process may be able to aid another which is why concurrent design engineering is so important. Computer software and hardware is becoming so sophisticated that it may eventually eliminate the need for any analog drawing. With the improving technology the ability to transfer graphic information across the globe has become easy.
The process of product design has several steps to having a successful product. There are all different levels of expertise needed to complete the process and concurrent design engineering allows for this to work. Concurrent Design Engineering was defined by Sohlenius as "a way of work where the various engineering activities in the product and production development process are integrated and performed as much as possible in parallel rather than in sequence." Different disciplines within the process are kept informed through the database of any and all changes to the product from start to finish as shown in the chart. For example, the marketing team is in charge of making the product sell to the consumers; if there is a change in the design or a small detail in the sales plan the marketing team will know about it because they will be digitally connected to the rest of the process. Concurrent design engineering has replaced the older step by step or “waterfall model,” this was an extremely linear and straight foreword approach. However, the concurrent approach is much more free flowing and integrated.
CAD can be introduced very early in the process of product design. As soon as the product need is identified and the first concept sketches are narrowed down, the ideas can be put into CAD to show the client and the rest of the design team what is happening. There are people on the within the process who can not translate a two-dimensional sketch or drafting as three-dimensional object. Therefore, the introduction of the concept in its simplest form at the beginning of the process without much detail can inform the rest of the team of what they have to work with. The ability to transfer information digitally is much more effective and time efficient than having to do everything analog.