A computational tool for virtual product development exploiting changeability knowledge
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Francalanza, Emmanuel; Borg, Jonathan; Constantinescu, Carmen
Institution: 1: University of Malta, Malta; 2: Fraunhofer IAO, Germany
Section: Design Methods and Tools
Shifts in customer needs coupled with highly competitive markets and technological advances, means that product families evolve over time. Product family evolution has an effect not only on how the current and future manufacturing requirements are defined but also on the manufacturing system design process itself and represents one of the main difficulties in designing manufacturing systems. Two types of factory life cycle consequences have been identified which may occur as a result of design decisions during the manufacturing system synthesis design activity. This research therefore contributes a novel changeability knowledge based product development approach framework to reveal and analyse the consequences of commitments made during manufacturing system design on future product capability, hence on product evolution, and factory changeability. This approach was implemented in a computational tool for virtual product development which exploits changeability knowledge to assist, guide and motivate manufacturing system designers into designing more changeable manufacturing systems.