Product Generation Engineering

Each product development is PGE – Product Generation Engineering: the development of a new product generation is based on reference products. Those are preceding products or prototypes from the company but as well systems from competitors or other branches. Subsystems of a new product generation are either carried over from reference products or developed new based on reference products. New development activities are embodiment and principle variation. Within the research field PGE – Product Generation Engineering we develop methods and processes to plan and manage PGE, including processes across several generations. This includes all activities of product engineering and all layers of product engineering in companies: from the development of an individual product generation to the company’s strategy.

RF Product Generation Engineering


We research methods and process of PGE by means of complete technical systems and selected subsystems as well. Within our institute we work in particular on power tools and drive systems. Together with our partners we examine a wide range of different systems, coming from the automotive industry and their suppliers as well as from special mechanical engineering.


We investigate and develop methods regarding i. a. the following topics in the research field:

  • Strategic planning of product generations
  • Development of business models in PGE
  • Development of systems of objectives in PGE
  • Identification of potential reference products
  • Planning and management of new development shares and development risks
  • Derivation of necessary new development activities for a new product generation
  • System analysis to determine effective new development shares
  • Cross generational product models
  • Management of reference product related knowledge


Based on the theory of PGE we examine and design process elements for all phases of product development in companies, for example:

  • Development of systems of objectives in the early phase of PGE
  • Estimation of development costs and proposal preparation in the proposal phase
  • Planning of development generations for successive validation of system functions
  • Cross generational use of product models
  • Use of sensor date from running production processes for the PGE of the production system
  • Processes for SGE – System Generation Engineering


  • LiveLab IP
  • LiveLab ProVIL

Publications within the Research Field

Future-oriented PGE-product Generation Engineering: An Attempt to Increase the Future User Acceptance through Foresight in Product Engineering Using the Example of the iPhone User Interface.
Marthaler, F.; Stahl, S.; Siebe, A.; Bursac, N.; Spadinger, M.; Albers, A.
2019. Proceedings of the Design Society: International Conference on Engineering Design, 1 (1), 3641–3650. doi:10.1017/dsi.2019.371
The Reference System in the Model of PGE: Proposing a Generalized Description of Reference Products and their Interrelations.
Albers, A.; Rapp, S.; Spadinger, M.; Richter, T.; Birk, C.; Marthaler, F.; Heimicke, J.; Kurtz, V.; Wessels, H.
2019. Proceedings of the 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19), Delft, The Netherlands, 5-8 August 2019, 1693–1702, Delft. doi:10.1017/dsi.2019.175
Sprintplanung in der Mechatroniksystementwicklung auf Basis von Referenzsystemelementen.
Wessels, H.; Heimicke, J.; Rapp, S.; Grauberger, P.; Richter, T.; Matthiesen, S.; Albert, A.
2019. 17. Gemeinsames Kolloquium Konstruktionstechnik, KT2019, Aachen, Germany, 200–211. doi:10.18154/RWTH-2019-08788
Variations as Activity Patterns: A Basis for Project Planning in PGE – Product Generation Engineering.
Albers, A.; Rapp, S.; Peglow, N.; Stürmlinger, T.; Heimicke, J.; Wattenberg, F.; Wessels, H.
2019. 29th CIRP Design Conference: open design and design as exponential technology, Póvoa de Varzim, Portugal, 8th to 10th May 2019
PGE – Product generation engineering in engineering education: Real-world problems for beginners in student projects.
Albers, A.; Matthiesen, S.; Rapp, S.; Hoelz, K.; Bursac, N.
2018. 20th International Conference on Engineering and Product Design Education (E&PDE 2018), London, UK, September 6-7, 2018
Supporting Potential Innovation in the Early Phase of PGE – Product Generation Engineering: Structuring the Development of the Initial System of Objectives.
Albers, A.; Heitger, N.; Haug, F.; Fahl, J.; Hirschter, T.; Bursac, N.
2018. R&D Management Conference, Milano, I, June 30 - July 4, 2018, 13
20 Years of Co-creation Using Case Based Learning : An Integrated Approach for Teaching Innovation and Research in Product Generation Engineering.
Albers, A.; Bursac, N.; Heimicke, J.; Walter, B.; Reiß, N.
2018. Teaching and Learning in a Digital World : Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning, Volume 2, Budapest, Hungary, 27th - 29th September 2017. Ed.: M. E. Auer, 636–647, Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-73204-6_69
Entscheidungsheuristiken in der PGE – Produktgenerationsentwicklung.
Krause, D.; Paetzold, K.; Bursac, N.; Rapp, S.; Albers, A.; Breitschuh, J.; Tanaiutchawoot, N.
2017. Design for X : Beiträge zum 28. DfX-Symposium, Oktober 2017, Bamberg, 2017.10.04-05. Hrsg.: D. Krause, 275–286, Tutech Verlag
Agile product engineering through continuous validation in PGE - Product Generation Engineering.
Albers, A.; Behrendt, M.; Klingler, S.; Reiss, N.; Bursac, N.
2017. Design science, 3 (5), 19. doi:10.1017/dsj.2017.5
Die Frühe Phase der PGE - Produktgenerationsentwicklung.
Albers, A.; Rapp, S.; Birk, C.; Bursac, N.
2017. 4. Stuttgarter Symposium für Produktentwicklung 2017 (SSP) : Produktentwicklung im disruptiven Umfeld, Stuttgart, Deutschland, 28-29 Juni 2017, Fraunhofer Verlag
PGE – Produktgenerationsentwicklung am Beispiel des Zweimassenschwungrads.
Albers, A.; Bursac, N.; Rapp, S.
2017. Forschung im Ingenieurwesen, 81 (1), 13–31. doi:10.1007/s10010-016-0210-0
Modellbasierte Prinzip- und Gestaltvariation.
Albers, A.; Moeser, G.
2016. 14. Gemeinsames Kolloquium Konstruktionstechnik (KT) : Traditio et Innovatio - Entwicklung und Konstruktion, Rostock, 6. - 7. Oktober 2016. Hrsg.: K. Brökel, 96–104, Shaker Verlag
Produktgenerationsentwicklung Praxisbedarf und Fallbeispiel in der automobilen Produktentwicklung.
Albers, A.; Haug, F.; Heitger, N.; Arslan, M.; Rapp, S.; Bursac, N.
2016. 12. Symposium für Vorausschau und Technologieplanung (SVT), Berlin, 8. - 9. Dezember 2016, Heinz-Nixdorf-Institut
IPeM-Integrated Product Engineering Model in Context of Product Generation Engineering.
Albers, A.; Reiss, N.; Bursac, N.; Richter, T.
2016. Procedia CIRP, 50, 100–105. doi:10.1016/j.procir.2016.04.168
Produktgenerationsentwicklung - Bedeutung und Herausforderungen aus einer entwicklungsmethodischen Perspektive.
Albers, A.; Nikola, B.; Wintergerst, E.
2015. Stuttgarter Symposium für Produktentwicklung (SSP) : Stuttgart, 19. Juni 2015 ; Hrsg.: H. Binz, 1–10, Fraunhofer Verlag
Knowledge management in product generation development - An empirical study.
Albers, A.; Bursac, N.; Urbanec, J.; Lüdcke, R.; Rachenkova, G.
2014. 25th Symposium Design for X, DFX 2014, Bamberg; Germany, 1. October 2014 through 2. October 2014. Ed.: D. Krause, 13–24, TuTech-Verl

Overview of all IPEK Publications

An overview of all IPEK publications can be found here.