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Robert Farrell
Robert Farrell
Robert Farrell, Jr. is President of Farrell Marcom, LLC and a Co-Founder of Bob provides content marketing services to organizations throughout a number of industries including: Simulation, Manufacturing, CAD/CAM/PLM, Testing & Analysis, and Supply Chain.

MCADCafe Industry Predictions for 2020 – CM Labs

January 22nd, 2020 by Robert Farrell

Human in the Loop Becomes Center of Design  

If there’s one thing that manufacturers know they can bank on in the coming year, it’s that customer expectations—in terms of product performance, quality, and dependability— will continue to rise. Meeting these demands motivates manufacturers to continually scrutinize their processes and seek to enhance product development tools and methodologies. And while most industries have come to embrace simulation to ensure that customer requirements are validated well upstream and in advance of testing physical prototypes, some continue to lag.

For example, while virtually all leading automotive and aerospace equipment manufacturers are already leveraging multiple simulation methodologies to ensure product performance and reduce development costs, many industrial equipment manufacturers continue to rely on classic techniques such as field-prototyping as their primary methodology to validate designs. But, attempting to validate new products or design changes in the field is too late and puts the design process, projects, and production/performance targets at risk. Generally, this limits innovation opportunities, drives cost overrun, and results in an inability to consistently meet customer expectations.

2020 will see a growing number of off-highway, construction, and other industrial equipment manufacturers embrace simulation in the early stages of design and product development. In addition to utilizing Finite Element Analysis validation to limit costly and time-consuming extensive field-prototype testing, these manufacturers will begin adopting a Driver-in-the-Loop (DIL) testing methodology. DIL is a simulation-based technique critical to understanding human/machine performance while providing relevant feedback for design improvements.

By re-evaluating product development and leveraging DIL tools, industrial equipment manufacturers will place the interaction between humans and machines at the center of design. This will allow manufacturers to capture customer feedback, understand expectations, and confidently build those requirements into next generation products. Combined with digital twins, DIL will drive the next generation of simulation; and companies like CM Labs ( are leading the charge in this regard.

Employing simulation up-front has become standard design practice with today’s accelerated product development cycles. However, to maintain an edge in a market defined by integrated AI, machine learning, and automation, it is crucial to re-think design processes. And for industrial equipment designers/manufacturers this means embracing the human/machine relationship. 2020 (and beyond) will see breakthrough levels of innovation and performance by leveraging the interaction between man and machine as early in the process as possible.

Learn More

CM Labs has a webinar that explores how modern simulation tools allow teams to develop Driver-in-the-Loop (DIL) systems for advanced, early-process human-factors engineering. Watch it here:


Category: Industry Predictions

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