Set-Based Concurrent Engineering for Early Phases in Platform Development
Paper in proceedings, 2014
Set-Based Concurrent Engineering (SBCE) is a comprehensive approach to achieve efficiency in product development by providing guidelines to align the development activities. Given a certain range in a design problem, a set of design solutions is defined. Eliminating infeasible regions gradually narrows the set down to a working solution. Similar to platform-based development, SBCE further aims to reuse design knowledge from past development efforts. Although they share the goal of design reuse, there is a fundamental difference between SBCE and platform-based design. The SBCE design process produces one solution while the creation and use of a platform produces a product family. This paper elaborates an approach for platform concept development. It uses set-based concurrent engineering and its principles to develop a platform based on functions and design solutions while preserving the bandwidth. It shows how function-means trees and trade-off curves can represent solution spaces. Further, these spaces are narrowed down to manageable and desirable size to represent a product platform in line with current technology and available manufacturing capabilities. The approach is illustrated with a case from the aerospace industry showing how a manufacturer of parts for a jet engine can develop comprehensive concepts for a platform. The design space is narrowed down using desired bandwidth and compatibility between design solutions. While the approach has proven feasible in the test case, it requires manufacturing and technology development to produce trade-off curves. This implicitly requires technology development and manufacturing development to precede product development. Alternatively, product development, production development and technology development need to be perfectly coordinated in a concurrent manner.
set-based concurrent engineering