This paper focuses upon understanding the characteristics of engineering changes, in particular changes that emerge during the service phase of complex products, and on how these changes can be related to the product development process. For this purpose, a set of engineering change reports from an aerospace engine has been analyzed and the findings have been compared with change documentation from drilling machinery for the oil industry. These findings give insights into which phases of the design process should be modified in order to reduce the number of change requests from the service phase and to enable designers to efficiently answer the unavoidable change requests. This can be used to improve the product development process in order to take into account the factors leading to changes.

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