The state of the art refers to the highest level of development that has been achieved to date in a design, process, material or technique and is a key point in any industrial engineering project. In this article, we will explain what it is and what benefits it brings to the industry.
What is the state of the art?
It is a fundamental step in any research and development process that serves to demonstrate the novelty of the results of a research or project. In industry, it encompasses the entire body of knowledge and the highest degree that has been achieved to date on the subject, method, technology or materials engineering being researched or innovated.
Every research project must begin with a study phase, in which the researchers analyze the state of the art of the subject matter before they attempt to obtain results in the project. This initial phase is traditionally called the state of the art.
What is the use and benefits of the state of the art?
In addition to demonstrating the novelty of research results, the state of the art has other important characteristics that should be taken into account:
- It provides extensive knowledge about the research topic. By reading the related literature, you will be able to learn from other researchers and it will be easier to understand and analyze the problem at hand.
- It demonstrates the degree of relevance of the project. If there is a lot of literature on the topic and many people have tried to solve the same problem, this demonstrates its importance.
- It shows the different approaches to the same solution. By learning about the different approaches that other researchers take, you can evaluate your own approach and demonstrate its novelty or lack thereof. You can also discover which approaches are the most popular, which are dead ends, and what the current line of research is.
- It provides a wealth of material from past research that can be reused to carry out your own project or technology development more efficiently. Saving time, cost and effort.
Analysis of the state of the art in the industry
When distinguishing between the two types of applications of the state of the art in industrial engineering, we have to distinguish the two types of projects that exist in industry. On the one hand, there are projects for the development of equipment, products, innovative materials or systems; on the other hand, there are research projects.
In the case of development projects, the state-of-the-art study phase is relatively short, since, in many cases, the project will revolve around a topic that is well known to the research team.
The team of professionals responsible for carrying out the state-of-the-art analysis is characterized by being highly qualified, highly knowledgeable and having a broad practical vision. The economic resources employed in the project must also be taken into account. They produce returns almost immediately and generate efficient solutions. Proof of this are these examples of work we have done at Infinitia.
In this type of project, the state-of-the-art study that the design and development team carries out at the beginning of the project usually focuses on the exploration of new, more efficient, versatile, durable and lower cost components. It is, therefore, about building something quite similar to what already exists, but refining it and incorporating new elements with better functions and features.
On the other hand, research projects, in the most classical sense of the term, propose the study of the state of the art in industry in the same way as the rest of the scientific disciplines. Normally, in industrial engineering, research projects focus on equipment, materials, products or systems that did not exist previously or in which a substantial change in their characteristics is desired.
Therefore, the study of the state of the art in these cases is extremely important and is usually more extensive, given that the change and implementation result in an innovative revolution in itself.
To conclude, we have to comment that in order to carry out the study of the state of the art it is necessary to go to the catalogs of the elements and components, make an exhaustive search of the texts published in journals and congresses on industrial engineering and, of course, go to specialized web pages. Such as Infinitia’s news section, where you can discover the latest news in the sector.