Year: 1997
Editor: M.Tichem, T.Storm, M.M. Andreasen, A.H.B. Duffy
Author: McKay, Alison
Page(s): 75 - 86


The integration of the multiple product structures that typically ()u.:ur in a busi­ness process is one way in which the business process itself may be enhanced. As with the integration of engineering applications 1 , different approaches to this inte­gration may be taken. For example, some propose the creation of a single [master] product structure (which is analogous to the integration of engineering applica­tions through product data sharing) whilst others suggest keeping the separate product structures but defining relationships between them (which has parallels with the integration of engineering applications through product data exchange). Choosing the appropriate solution for a given situation requires understanding of the product structures that are to be integrated. This paper proposes a frame­work for the characterization of product structures that is intended to contribute to this understanding. For a given product structure, the framework looks at the kinds of information that are represented and the purpose (in the light of the business process) for which the product structure has been created. The poten­tial usefulness of the framework in comparing and contrasting different product structures is illustrated through a worked example.

Keywords: Design interpretation, product models, design data frameworks

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