Impact of the Internet on the Mechanical Design Process: A Comparison of the United States and Western Europe.

TitleImpact of the Internet on the Mechanical Design Process: A Comparison of the United States and Western Europe.
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsPeterson, Jerrod
Academic DepartmentMechanical Engineering
Thesis AdvisorHerling, Derald
DegreeBaccalaureate of Arts in International Studies in Mechanical Engineering
Number of Pages91
Date Published03/2000
UniversityOregon State University
Thesis TypeUndergraduate
Keywordsimpacts, internet

The Internet and the services available thereon are fundamentally affecting
communicational, informational and operational processes in a variety of professional
fields, including that of mechanical engineering. The purpose of this research is to
investigate and compare the Internet and its use by Americans and Western Europeans
engaged in mechanical design. Refinement of this investigation is meant to also include
Internet impacts on the mechanical design process itself. The research method utilizes a
comparison of information from three sources: related journal articles, interviews
conducted with design engineers in the U.S. and Western Europe and firsthand
investigation of design-related Internet features and services. Several aspects of the
design process are identified as being impacted by the use of the Internet, including
component selection and purchase, communication via technical drawings, the
organization of project information and efficiency with respect to the measures of cost,
quality and time. A variety of current Internet resources are explored in the treatment of
each topic. While the use of Internet features and services is impacting how the design
process is done, at present their use is not impacting the overall framework of the design
process itself. A lack of development of several design-related software tools, such as
web-based CAD and CAD-related capabilities for web browsers, is currently limiting the utility of the Internet in the design process.