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A platform model for suppliers of customized systems: Creating an ability to master fluctuating requirements
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Product Development - Computer supported engineering design.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7656-0889
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Product Development - Computer supported engineering design.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6278-2499
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Product Development - Computer supported engineering design.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3677-8311
2016 (English)In: Proceedings of the ASME 2016 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC/CIE 2016, Charlotte, August 21-24, 2016., 2016Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Companies developing highly customized products within the supplier industry are continuously faced with fluctuating requirements during both the quotation process and continued development. This research proposes a platform approach to aid suppliers when modularity or platform scalability do not suffice. The platform approach, Design Platform, focuses on descriptions that not only contain information about tangible components and systems but also information, knowledge and methods supporting the actual design of the product. A support system called Design Platform Manager has been developed to aid in using the platform approach and is introduced at a supplier active in the automotive industry. The system enables creation of generic product items that can be structured and instantiated to become product variants as well as Design Elements that are blocks of knowledge that describe a design or supports the activity of designing. A first evaluation is made that overall shows good result according to the company representatives.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
Keywords [en]
Quotation, Customization, Platform, Requirements, Supplier, Engineering Design
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-31567ISI: 000393001500031Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85007317943OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-31567DiVA, id: diva2:956074
Conference
IDETC/CIE 2016, International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers & Information in Engineering Conference
Available from: 2016-08-29 Created: 2016-08-29 Last updated: 2019-09-02Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Supporting the utilization of a platform approach in the engineer-to-order supplier industry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Supporting the utilization of a platform approach in the engineer-to-order supplier industry
2017 (English)Licentiate 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 for their products. This is especially true of suppliers that develop and manufacture highly customized products within the automotive industry. It is not uncommon that a request for a new product or subsystem goes out to several suppliers and that the one that can deliver the product most quickly and at the lowest price receives the contract. It is therefore vital for any supplier to answer to quotation requests rapidly and with a high level of precision while also ensuring that company assets are used efficiently. Other issues that apply to suppliers in the automotive industry are heavily fluctuating requirements during development projects, each customer’s individual preferences, and the ever changing interfaces with the OEM product with which the supplier’s product is to be integrated. Platform strategies have been widely accepted in industry to serve a wide product variety while maintaining business efficiency. However, the challenge of applying a platform strategy at the supplier level in the face of the reality described above has not been fully investigated. Platform approaches tend to require a focused development of the platform, which in turn requires some knowledge about which future variants are to be derived from the platform. The research presented in this thesis investigates the state of practice in industry regarding the challenges, needs, and current use of platforms. To respond to the identified need, a platform approach is proposed that expands the scope of what a product platform has traditionally contained. This is undertaken to aid in the development of highly customized products when physical modules or component scalability does not suffice. The platform approach provides a coherent environment for heterogeneous design assets to be used in product development, supporting both the activity of designing and off-the-shelf solutions. The approach is based on identifying and modelling generic product items that are associated with descriptions governing their design. By describing the outcome of technology and product development like finished designs, design guidelines, constraints, etc., in a standardized format, the platform continues to evolve. To aid in using the platform approach, a support system called Design Platform Manager is introduced at a company active as a secondtier supplier in the automotive industry. The system enables the creation of generic product items that can be structured, instantiated, and associated with descriptions, which aids in realizing product variants. The aim of the platform approach and tool is to support the quotation and continued design processes by identifying valid knowledge to use as circumstances, such as requirement changes or new design iterations, warrant. The support tool and overarching model have been evaluated by company representatives, who reported good results.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: Jönköping University, School of Engineering, 2017. p. 62
Series
JTH Dissertation Series ; 20
Keywords
Product Development, Engineering Design, Quotation, Customization, Supplier, Platform, Design Reuse, Adapt, Concurrent Engineering
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-35166 (URN)978-91-87289-21-7 (ISBN)
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-03-08 Created: 2017-03-08 Last updated: 2018-08-17Bibliographically approved
2. 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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André, SamuelStolt, RolandElgh, Fredrik

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