Set-Based Concurrent Engineering for Preserving Design Bandwidth in Product and Manufacturing System Platforms
Paper in proceedings, 2014
Assembling products to order or applying straightforward configuration, such as scaling, allow the reuse of ready-designed physical components in high volumes. However, not all companies can exploit economies of scale in this way. They are burdened with additional design work, as requirements on functionality and performance differ among product variants or change over time. Such companies need artifact models and engineering processes that help them manage and develop for variety.
Set-based concurrent engineering has been proposed for dealing with a variety of concepts during development that lead to a single product while storing knowledge gained. This paper adapts this thinking to the preparation and use of product and manufacturing system platforms. Here, the output is not a single product. Rather, a set of design solutions for products and manufacturing systems is designed that delivers flexibility in functionality and performance. In this paper, we call this built-in flexibility design bandwidth.
The paper builds on an integrated artifact model for products and manufacturing systems. The model captures the rationale behind existing designs with their functionality. Here it is combined with principles of set-based concurrent engineering to outline a process for its preparation and use in cases of insufficient bandwidth that require additional designing. The preparation and use are illustrated by applying the model to an example where bandwidth is expanded and preserved.