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Managing design rationale in the development of product families and related design automation systems
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Product Development. Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Product Development - Computer supported engineering design.
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

As the markets’ needs change rapidly, developing a variety of products that meet customers’ diverse needs is a competitive factor for many manufacturing companies. Development of highly customized products requires following an engineer-to-order business process to allow the products to be modified or adapted to new customers’ specifications, which brings more value to the customer and profit to the company.

The design of a new product variant involves a large amount of repetitive and time-consuming tasks but also information handling activities that are sometimes beyond human capabilities. Such work that does not rely so much on creativity can be carried out more efficiently by applying design automation systems. Design automation stands out as an effective means of cutting costs and lead time for a range of well-defined design activities and is mainly considered as a computer-based tool that processes and manipulates the design information.

Variant design usually concern generating a new variant of a basic design, that has been developed and proved previously, according to new customer’s demands. To efficiently generate a new variant, a deep understanding of the intention and fundamentals of the design is essential and can be achieved through access to design rationale—the explanation of the reasons and justifications behind the design.

The maintenance of product families and their corresponding design automation systems is essential to retaining their usefulness over time and adapting them to new circumstances. Examples of new circumstances can include the introduction of new variants of existing products, changes in design rules to meet new standards or legislations, or changes in technology. To maintain a design automation system, updating the design knowledge (e.g. design rules) is required. The use of design rationale will normally become a necessity for allowing a better understanding of the knowledge. Consequently, there is a need for principles and methods that enable the capture and structure of the design rationale and sharing them with the users.

This study presents methods and tools for modeling design knowledge and managing design rationale in order to support the utilization and maintenance of design automation systems. Managing design rationale concerns enabling the capturing, structuring, and sharing of design rationale. The results have been evaluated through design automation systems in two case companies.

Abstract [sv]

Att kunna erbjuda kundanpassade produkter har blivit allt viktigare för många tillverkande företag. Utformningen av en ny produktvariant involverar en stor mängd repetitiva och tidskrävande uppgifter men även informationshanteringsaktiviteter som ibland är bortom mänskliga möjligheter. Sådant arbete som inte förlitar sig så mycket på kreativitet kan genomföras mer effektivt genom att använda designautomatiseringssystem. Designautomatisering framstår som ett effektivt sätt att minska kostnader och ledtid för en rad väldefinierade designaktiviteter och betraktas huvudsakligen som ett datorbaserat verktyg som analyserar och syntetiserar designinformationen.

Variantdesign handlar vanligtvis om att skapa en ny variant av en grundläggande design, som har utvecklats och bevisats tidigare enligt nya kunders krav. För att effektivt skapa en ny variant är en djup förståelse för designens avsikt och grundläggande uppbyggnad avgörande och kan uppnås genom tillgång till ”design rationale”- förklaringen av skälen och motiveringarna bakom designen.

Underhållet av produktfamiljer och deras motsvarande designautomatiseringssystem är viktigt för att behålla användbarheten över tid och anpassa dem till nya omständigheter. Exempel på nya omständigheter kan innefatta införande av nya varianter av befintliga produkter, ändringar av designregler för att uppfylla nya standarder, lagstiftningar eller tekniska ändringar. För att upprätthålla ett designautomatiseringssystem krävs uppdatering av designkunskapen (t ex designregler). Användningen av design rationale kommer normalt att bli en nödvändighet för att ge en bättre förståelse av kunskapen. Följaktligen finns det ett behov av principer och metoder som möjliggör fångande och strukturering av design rationale och dela dem med användarna.

Denna studie presenterar metoder och verktyg för modellering av designkunskap och hantering av design rationale för att stödja utnyttjande och underhåll av designautomatiseringssystem. Vid hantering av design rationale gäller det att göra det möjligt att fånga, strukturera och dela med sig av design rationale. Resultaten har utvärderats genom att undersöka effekterna av dem i designautomationssystem i två företag.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: Jönköping University, School of Engineering , 2017. , p. 100
Series
JTH Dissertation Series ; 31
Keywords [en]
Design rationale, design automation system, computer-supported engineering design, product development
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-38033ISBN: 978-91-87289-32-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-38033DiVA, id: diva2:1162532
Public defence
2017-12-15, E1405, School of Engineering, Jönköping, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Knowledge FoundationAvailable from: 2017-12-04 Created: 2017-12-04 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Supporting Traceability of Design Rationale in an Automated Engineer-To-Order Business Model
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Supporting Traceability of Design Rationale in an Automated Engineer-To-Order Business Model
2012 (English)In: DS 70: Proceedings of DESIGN 2012, the 12th International Design Conference, Dubrovnik, Croatia / [ed] Marjanovic Dorian, Storga Mario, Pavkovic Neven, Bojcetic Nenad, 2012, p. 1425-1434Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The ability to efficiently and quickly design and manufacture highly customized product can provide a competitive advantage for companies acting on a market with shifting customer demands. A business model based on highly customized product requires advanced application systems for automating the work of generating product variants based on different customer specification. The establishment of a system for automated design and production preparation is a significant investment in time and money and is expected to give revenues over many years. To maintain a design automation system’s usefulness over time, frequent updating of design rules and execution control will normally become a necessity. Reuse of the system encapsulated generic product family descriptions when developing a new product family is also perceived to significantly increase the efficiency in system development. The scope and the purpose of this research originate from industrial problems and needs which have been identified within research projects carried out in near collaboration with industrial partners. New concepts, perceived as prescriptive models, are in this work introduced, evaluated, and refined which is in accordance with the design modelling approach [Duffy, Andreasen, 1995]. The focus of this paper is a case study carried out at a company with long experience of systems for automated variant design. The main objective is to provide a system foundation for modelling and management of product knowledge in design automation systems to support reuse, expansion and maintenance.

Series
Design, ISSN 1847-9073
Keywords
engineer-to-order, design rationale, knowledge management, knowledge modelling, design automation
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-18443 (URN)978-953-7738-17-4 (ISBN)
Conference
12th INTERNATIONAL DESIGN CONFERENCE - DESIGN 2012, May 21st-24th, 2012, Dubrovnik - Cavtat - Croatia
Available from: 2012-06-13 Created: 2012-06-13 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
2. A Case Study on Implementing Design Automation: Identified Issues and Solution for Documentation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A Case Study on Implementing Design Automation: Identified Issues and Solution for Documentation
2013 (English)In: 20th ISPE International Conference on Concurrent Engineering / [ed] Cees Bil, John Mo, Josip Stjepandić, Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2013, p. 324-332Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Computer supported engineering design systems are used as support for designers by automating some tasks/activities of design process. From industrial aspect, implementation of a developed prototype system is a critical task. User acceptance is of high importance and strongly related to the access and understanding of the knowledge which requires a high level of system transparency. In addition, integration of the system in the environment or its compatibility with other systems/tools should be considered. Our experiences in industry show that two major issues are usually raised up during implementing a design automation system which are: documentation and organization. Documentation concerns the way of capturing, storing and distributing the information in systems, and organization concerns alignment of the system with other systems or tools as well as communication and collaboration among system participants and users. The focus of this paper is on documentation and the importance of reuse, design rationale and traceability is discussed. In order to align closely with industry practices, the thoughts are presented along with an on-going case study, where the development and analysis of roof racks for cars are being automated, and a number of challenges have been discussed. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2013
Keywords
Computer supported engineering design systems, Documentation, Design Rationale and Traceability
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-21894 (URN)10.3233/978-1-61499-302-5-324 (DOI)000333272000034 ()2-s2.0-84891680539 (Scopus ID)978-1-61499-301-8 (ISBN)978-1-61499-302-5 (ISBN)
Conference
20th ISPE International Conference on Concurrent Engineering, 2-6 September, Melbourne, Asutralia
Available from: 2013-09-09 Created: 2013-09-09 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
3. Capturing, structuring, and accessing design rationale across product design and FEA
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Capturing, structuring, and accessing design rationale across product design and FEA
2016 (English)In: Product lifecycle management in the era of Internet of things: 12th IFIP WG 5.1 International Conference, PLM 2015, Doha, Qatar, October 19-21, 2015, revised selected papers / [ed] A. Bouras, B. Eynard, S. Foufou, K-D. Thoben, 2016, p. 387-396Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Implementing design automation systems to automate repetitive and time consuming design tasks enables engineer-to-order manufacturers to perform custom engineering in minimum time. To maintain a design automation system, regular updating of design information and knowledge is necessary. Consequently, there is a need of principles and methods to support capturing and structuring associated knowledge, specially, design rationale. In this paper a method for capturing, structuring, and accessing to design rationale in order to support maintenance of design automation systems is presented. The method is tested through a design automation system that develops FEA (finite element analysis) models automatically. The results are evaluated in a case company which is a supplier to the automotive industry serving many brands and car models which each more or less requires a unique solution.

Series
IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, ISSN 1868-4238 ; 467
Keywords
Design automation system; Computer supported engineering design; Design rationale
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-28197 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-33111-9_36 (DOI)978-3-319-33110-2 (ISBN)978-3-319-33111-9 (ISBN)
Conference
PLM 15: The IFIP WG5.1 12th International Conference on Product Lifecycle Management, Doha, Qatar, October 18-21, 2015.
Note

Included in thesis as conference abstract, 2015

Available from: 2015-10-19 Created: 2015-10-19 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
4. Capturing, structuring and accessing design rationale in integrated product design and manufacturing processes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Capturing, structuring and accessing design rationale in integrated product design and manufacturing processes
2016 (English)In: Advanced Engineering Informatics, ISSN 1474-0346, E-ISSN 1873-5320, Vol. 30, no 3, p. 522-536Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Developing customized products is the business case for many manufacturing companies striving to fulfill the customers’ specific needs. When manufacturing customized products it is often necessary to also develop corresponding customized manufacturing tooling. There is a need to support concurrent development of new product variants along with their manufacturing toolsets. The communication between design engineers and manufacturing engineers is hence a key issue that if solved would enable design engineers to foresee how changes in product design affect tooling design and vice versa. To understand the correlation between the design of a product and its corresponding manufacturing tools, access to design rationale of the product and the developed tooling is required. Design rationale provides an explanation of why an artifact is designed in the way it is, including statements (textual, numerical or geometrical), argumentations, and decisions. Since design rationale is composed of information scattered all across the company's repositories in different formats (e.g. in type of a geometry, picture, table, and textual document), representing the design rationale is a challenge for many enterprises. In this paper a method is introduced that enables capture, structure and access to design rationale across product design and tooling design. The system enables representing design rationale in formats such as CAD models, spreadsheets, textual formats, and web pages. The method has been examined by developing a prototype system tested in a case company which develops and manufactures customized car accessories, such as roof racks and bike carriers, for different car models. The company develops and manufactures the products as well as the required tooling equipment. The prototype system includes different software commonly used by engineers during designing a product, for the purpose of making it applicable for other companies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016
Keywords
Computer supported engineering; Design for manufacture; Design rationale; Engineer-to-order; Knowledge acquisition
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-28196 (URN)10.1016/j.aei.2016.06.004 (DOI)000382793700018 ()2-s2.0-84978524650 (Scopus ID)
Note

Included in thesis as submitted manuscript.

Available from: 2015-10-19 Created: 2015-10-19 Last updated: 2018-06-08Bibliographically approved
5. An explorative study on management and maintenance of systems for design and manufacture of customized products
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An explorative study on management and maintenance of systems for design and manufacture of customized products
2016 (English)In: The 2016 IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management / [ed] Kadarsah SURYADI, Budi HARTONO, T.M.A. ARI SAMADHI,Nan CHEN, Min XIE, IEEE, 2016Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper addresses the issues regarding retrieve, reuse and update of design information in context of customized products and adaptive design. Capturing and representing design rationale during the development process has been identified as an important factor to support design of product variants. The study explores the development process from identifying customer requirements to production preparation in a case company which has long tradition in automating generation of design variants.  

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE, 2016
Keywords
Design automation system, design reuse, design rationale
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-34280 (URN)10.1109/IEEM.2016.7798118 (DOI)000392208100295 ()978-1-5090-3664-6 (ISBN)
Conference
2016 IEEE International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management (IEEM), 04 Dec - 07 Dec 2016, Bali, Indonesia
Projects
IMPACT
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2016-12-12 Created: 2016-12-12 Last updated: 2018-09-12Bibliographically approved
6. Support management of product families and the corresponding automation systems – A method to capture and share design rationale
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Support management of product families and the corresponding automation systems – A method to capture and share design rationale
2017 (English)In: Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design / [ed] Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos, The Design Society, 2017, Vol. 6, p. 267-276Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The ability to innovate and launch customized products that are well matched to customer demands is a competitive factor for many manufacturing companies. Development of highly customized products requires following an engineer-to-order business process to tailor the products according to customers’ specifications, which brings more value to the customer and profit to the company. Using design automation systems to automate repetitive and time consuming design tasks enables the manufacturers to perform custom engineering in minimum time. To manage and maintain a product family and the corresponding automation systems, updating the design knowledge is required. Use of design rationale will normally become a necessity to allow a better understanding of the knowledge. Consequently, there is a need of principles and methods to enable capture and effectively share the design rationale. In this paper a method for capturing and sharing design rationale is presented. The results are evaluated in a case company which is a supplier of tooling for manufacturing industry.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
The Design Society, 2017
Series
ICED, ISSN 2220-4342
Keywords
Design automation system, Computer Aided Design (CAD), Design engineering, Decision making, Design rationale
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-37131 (URN)2-s2.0-85029774002 (Scopus ID)978-1-904670-94-0 (ISBN)
Conference
ICED17 the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design
Projects
IMPACT
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2017-09-01 Created: 2017-09-01 Last updated: 2018-09-11Bibliographically approved
7. Capture, structure and share design rationale in a design family development process
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Capture, structure and share design rationale in a design family development process
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-38032 (URN)
Note

The paper is submitted to an international journal.

Available from: 2017-12-04 Created: 2017-12-04 Last updated: 2017-12-04

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