Integrating virtual and physical testing to accelerate the engineering product development process

Khadija Tahera, Chris Earl, Claudia Eckert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Testing is essential in developing a successful complex engineering product. System level integration and testing can use between 35% and 50% of development resources. External factors such as legislation and customer requirements drive essential testing whilst internal factors such company experience, affordability and organisational practice profoundly affect the overall testing plan. The main objective of this paper is to understand how testing is integrated into the product development process and how different types of testing are scheduled across the stages of product development. The paper reports a case study in a diesel engine company where the balance of virtual and physical testing is a key concern in reducing design time and cost. Integrating physical and virtual testing is more than process optimisation of time and cost. It contributes to recasting the design process in response to changes in customer requirements as well as to design changes which arise during testing. The importance of dependencies across components, subsystems and tests is highlighted using a model using design structure matrices and the advantages of integrating physical and virtual testing are analysed particularly in facilitating task overlap to reduce product development duration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-175
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Information Technology and Management
Issue number2-3
Early online date10 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


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