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Modeling of transdisciplinary engineering assets using the design platform approach for improved customization ability
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Product Development, Production and Design.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7656-0889
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Product Development, Production and Design.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3677-8311
2018 (English)In: Advanced Engineering Informatics, ISSN 1474-0346, E-ISSN 1873-5320, Vol. 38, p. 277-290Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Original equipment suppliers (OES) that develop unique products are continuously faced with changing requirements during both the quotation and product development processes. This challenge is a different reality from companies that develop off-the-shelf products for the end consumer, which use fixed specifications and where product platforms have been a strong enabler for efficient mass customization. However, product platforms cannot adequately support companies working as OES. The reason is that a high level of customization is required which means that interfaces cannot be standardized, the performance is not negotiable, requirements are not initially fixed, and the specific system interacts with, is affected by, or affects other systems that are simultaneously developed in a transdisciplinary environment. The design platform (DP) approach provides a coherent environment for heterogeneous and transdisciplinary design resources to be used in product development by supporting both designing and off-the-shelf solutions. This research describes the introduction, application and further development of the DP approach at an automotive supplier to support the development of customized solutions when traditional modularity or platform scalability do not suffice. A computer tool called Design Platform Manager has been developed to support the creation and visualization of the DP. The support tool has a connection to a product data management database to link the platform model to the various kinds of engineering assets needed or intended to support variant creation. Finally, the support tool was evaluated by the case company representatives showing promising results. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 38, p. 277-290
Keywords [en]
Engineer-to-order, Engineering design, Product development, Product platform, Quotation, Supplier, Fixed platforms, Information management, Engineer to orders, Product platforms, Product design
National Category
Computer Systems Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-41161DOI: 10.1016/j.aei.2018.07.006ISI: 000454378700021Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85051115681OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-41161DiVA, id: diva2:1239474
Funder
VINNOVAAvailable from: 2018-08-16 Created: 2018-08-16 Last updated: 2019-09-02Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The Design Platform Approach –Enabling platform-based development in the engineer-to-order industry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Design Platform Approach –Enabling platform-based development in the engineer-to-order industry
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Manufacturing companies are continuously faced with requirements regarding technology novelty, shorter time to market, a higher level of functionality, and lower prices on their products. This is especially the case for companies developing and manufacturing highly customized products, also known as engineer-to-order (ETO) companies. The traditional view of the product lifecycle introduces the customer only at the sale and distribution phase, which is often concerned with identifying and transferring customer needs into fixed specifications that guide the development of end-consumer products. In the ETO industry, however, the customer is involved already at the scoping and quotation stage, and a significant amount of engineering needs to be performed for every customer order. Thus, ETO companies cannot work according to the traditional model described above since specific requirements are set directly by the customer, or a detailed requirements specification is missing and must be developed in cooperation with the customer. It is not uncommon that products are developed in joint ventures with the customer and run for several years, during which requirements change.

Product platform approaches have been generally accepted in the industry to serve a wide product variety while maintaining business efficiency. However, how to apply a product platform approach in ETO companies that face the reality described above is a challenge. Product platform approaches tend to require focused development of the platform, which, in turn, requires some knowledge about the future variants to be derived from the platform. The research presented in this thesis investigates the state of art and practice in the industry regarding the challenges, needs, and current use of product platforms. To respond to the identified need, a product platform approach is proposed that expands the scope of what a product platform has traditionally contained. The purpose of this proposal is to aid the development of highly customized products when physical modules or component scalability do not suffice. The resulting approach, the Design Platform Approach (DPA), provides a coherent model and methodology for heterogeneous engineering assets to be used in product development, supporting the activity of designing and existing solutions. The approach is based on identifying and modelling generic product and process items, which are the generic building blocks of the product, its structure, and the process of designing them. The generic product and process items are associated with the generic assets governing their design. By describing engineering assets that are the outcome of technology and product development, such as finished designs, design guidelines, constraints etc., in a standardized format, the DPA successively evolves.

This thesis outlines the DPA in detail and presents cases of applications that have focused on different aspects of the approach. Tools to support the DPA are presented and evaluated in different kinds of industries along with the specific methods used and literature summarization.

Abstract [sv]

Tillverkande företag blir kontinuerligt utmanade med krav på kortare ledtider, lägre priser på sina produkter och en högre nivå av funktionalitet och teknik. Detta är särskilt fallet för företag som utvecklar och tillverkar högt kundanpassade produkter, även kända som engineer-to-order (ETO) företag. Den traditionella synen på produktlivscykeln introducerar kunden i försäljnings- och distributionsfasen, som ofta berör identifiering och överföring av kundbehov i kravspecifikationer som styr produktutvecklingen av produkter för slutkonsumenter. ETO-branschen skiljer sig i att kunden redan är involverad i offertstadiet och att en betydande mängd ingenjörsarbete behöver utföras för varje kundorder. ETO-företag kan således inte fungera som tidigare beskrivna företag eftersom specifika krav ställs direkt av kunden. Även motsatsen kan inträffa då en detaljerad kravspecifikation saknas och behöver utvecklas i samarbete med kunden. Det är inte ovanligt att produkter utvecklas i gemensamma projekt med kunden och att projekt drivs under flera år under vilka krav tenderar att ändras.

Plattformsstrategier har accepterats inom industrin för att effektivt kunna hantera ett brett produktsortiment samtidigt som företagets effektivitet upprätthålls. En utmaning är dock hur ETO företag som står inför den verklighet som beskrivs ovan bör applicera en plattformsstrategi. Plattformsmetoder tenderar att kräva en fokuserad utveckling av plattformen vilket i sin tur kräver viss kunskap om vilka framtida varianter som ska skapas från plattformen. Forskningen som presenteras i denna avhandling undersöker litteratur och praktik inom industrin gällande utmaningar, behov och användning av plattformar. För att svara på det identifierade behovet föreslås en plattformsmodell och metod som utökar omfattningen av vad en produktplattform traditionellt har varit. Syftet är att stödja utvecklingen av höganpassade produkter när fysiska moduler eller skalbara komponenter inte räcker till. Det resulterande tillvägagångssättet, Design Platform (DP) -modellen, ger ett sammanhängande sätt för att hantera ingenjörstillgångar som ska användas vid produktutveckling och inkluderar både konstruktionsprocessen samt befintliga produktlösningar. Tillvägagångssättet bygger på att identifiera och modellera den generiska produkten och processen som är produktens generiska byggstenar, dess struktur och dess process. Dessa kopplas samman med de generiska tillgångarna som stödjer konstruktion och återanvändning. Genom att beskriva ingenjörstillgångarna, som är resultatet av teknik och produktutveckling, som färdiga konstruktioner, riktlinjer för konstruktion, krav etc. i ett standardiserat format, utvecklas plattformen successivt.

Denna avhandling presenterar DP-modellen och implementationer som har fokuserat på olika aspekter av DP-modellen. Flera verktyg för att stödja DP-modellen presenteras och utvärderas i olika branscher samt diskuteras i ljuset av den forskningsmetodik och litteratur.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: Jönköping University, School of Engineering, 2019. p. 91
Series
JTH Dissertation Series ; 48
Keywords
Product Development, Engineering Design, Quotation, Customization, Supplier, Product Platform, Design Reuse, Adaptation
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-45777 (URN)978-91-87289-51-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-09-20, Gjuterisalen (E1405), School of Engineering, Jönköping, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
VinnovaKnowledge Foundation
Available from: 2019-09-02 Created: 2019-09-02 Last updated: 2019-09-02Bibliographically approved

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Available from 2020-08-08 00:00

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André, SamuelElgh, Fredrik

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