Managing product and production variety - A language workbench approach
Paper in proceedings, 2014
Product platforms are commonly used in industries with complex products and high competition like the car and truck industry to allow a customer to order a product that satisfy its unique needs. A consequence of product variety is that manufacturing and assembly processes need to deal with this variety as well. If the variety is low and changes of the product occur infrequently then the variety may be handled by designing the production system for a small set of typical products. But as the variety increases and changes become frequent the necessity for integrated product and production information model is high, to partially solve this problem Product Life Cycle Management (PLM) systems aim at providing an integrated model to all categories of users, e.g. product designers, product preparation engineers, line builders and shop-floor workers. All users need to access the information in the platform and refine and modify the information to reflect new knowledge that has been acquired. Today, most often multiple systems are used where some systems may store information in a structured way but often unstructured text documents are also used. This easily results in redundant information models and automated analysis is not feasible or not event possible because of issues regarding cohesion and traceability of information. The contribution in this paper is to discuss how a new type of tool for building domain specific languages and editors using language workbench approach can be used to support the different user categories in their tasks working with variability of a product and production system while at the same time provide cohesion and traceability of information.
Product life cycle management