Platform Approaches in Manufacturing – Considering Integration with Product Platforms
Paper i proceeding, 2011
Given the latest progress in research and technology, achieving the seamless co-development of products and manufacturing systems seems rather undemanding. While a straightforward solution to this challenge is not in fact in sight, numerous ideas exist and are being pursued, both in industry and academia. One of these is to base the development of products and manufacturing systems on strategically specified and pre-defined platforms that limit the solution space in a well-defined manner while allocating desired flexibility.
This paper identifies different paradigms for the joint development of products and manufacturing systems. Specifically, it looks at a platform concept originating from manufacturing rather than product design. A real-life industrial example of a robotized manufacturing station from the automotive industry illustrates a transition towards the closer integration of design and manufacturing. In this example, the existing dedicated welding station is contrasted with a modular, configurable station that can accommodate new products and different manufacturing technologies. Differences in flexibility and complexity between these two manufacturing stations are brought to light by modeling the rationale of their designs.
From this process, conclusions are drawn regarding the different conditions for co-development with the two manufacturing stations. The modular concept imposes new restrictions. However, with its high degree of configurability, it can be a standard solution for the robotized manufacture of body-in-white sub-assemblies.