Analysing increase of functionality and complexity in integrated product architectures
Paper in proceedings, 2020

Nowadays, product designers find difficulties and uncertainties when assessing how complex a product will be when introducing new functionalities and technologies or when integrating multiple functionalities into a single component. There is a limited number of studies correlating functionality increase to product complexity. In this paper, the impact of functionality on complexity is quantitatively analyzed in two different case studies: one regarding a set of valves to study how complexity is affected when adding new functionalities, and another one related to three alternative designs of computer mice that features different degrees of functional integration. In the first case study, it has been found that adding new functionalities leads to a super-linear increase of complexity. In the second case study, it has been found that integrating functionality through the introduction of new electronic elements allows to reduce the total number of components, suggesting a decrease in complexity. However, the case study shows an increase in the product's overall complexity through an increased number of interactions between the components themselves. This means that possessing a quantitative methodology to evaluate the impact of functionality increase in product complexity can be an important means for designers to avoid misconceptions and risks during the early phases of product development.

Complexity

Integrated architecture product

Functional modelling

Integrated product development

Author

Sabela Gonzalez Castro

Technical University of Madrid

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Product Development

Massimo Panarotto

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Product Development

Olivia Borgue

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Product Development

Ola Isaksson

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Product Development

Proceedings of the NordDesign 2020 Conference, NordDesign 2020

NordDesign 2020
Lyngby, Denmark,

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Other Mechanical Engineering

Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified

More information

Latest update

12/30/2020