The oil field equipment manufacturing business, like any other business working in a world wide environment, is becoming interested in reducing the amount of time required to take a product from initial concept to the market place. The most recent concept being employed to achieve this goal is concurrent engineering.

This paper discusses the use of local area networks connecting personal computers to facilitate both traditional engineering and manufacturing organizations and concurrent engineering concepts. The key to making either type of organizational structure work well is communication. As companies have moved away from large mainframe computers toward individual, stand alone, personal computers, communications as well as various databases have been difficult to maintain. The authors attempt to show how a LAN would help to solve problems with data integrity, communication and speed of product development. These ideas are combined with discussion of anticipated cost savings as well as LAN installation cost. The authors show that the initial cost of LAN installation can easily be justified by the costs saved in product development.

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