Exploring Effective Change Propagation in a Product Family Design

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Journal of Mechanical Design

The ASME Journal of Mechanical Design (JMD) serves the broad design community as a venue for scholarly, archival research in all aspects of the design activity.
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  • Exploring Effective Change Propagation in a Product Family Design

    Inayat UllahDunbing TangQi Wang and Leilei Yin

    J. Mech. Des 139(12), 121101; doi: 10.1115/1.4037627

    Delivering a variety of products with minimal lead time is a critical issue given today’s competitive manufacturing industry. Many design and production firms address the challenges of variety by adopting a product family manufacturing strategy. Product families are a broad range of artifacts, known as product variants, which share a number of common components. Thus, engineering changes in a product family affect the product under consideration and other product variants in the family. This increases the difficulty of predicting the change propagation within a family of products. This paper introduces a seven-step change propagation approach that predicts and evaluates the impact of change propagation across product variants. Interdependencies and logical relationships between directly connected components are captured using a Component-based Design Structure Matrix. This highlights the different change propagation paths that are available in the product’s structure. Risk analysis in terms of lead time is performed at the component level. The results demonstrate that avoiding project delays requires selecting suitable change propagation paths in a family of products.
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