Customisation and Modelling Applied to Electronic and Mechatronic Products
Implementation of the concepts of Mass Customisation (MC) is highly related to design of products and leads most often to non-reversible decisions. Consequently, many issues have to be considered and many strategies may be followed. Because there is not a single generic strategy, it is important to look at the issue from different viewpoints. The issue that products must be easily customisable in order to achieve MC is often emphasised. An overview of the issues regarding customisation of products is collected in a pre-developed model for customisation. This model arranges customisation in four different levels of customisation, ranging from the structure level at the bottom, through the performance level and the experience level to the learning level at the top. The model has a dual view with customers/demand at one side and product/supplier at the other side and it is developed so that it can be generally applied and, typically, it must be decided how far up in levels the customisation should aim. In this paper, the customisation model is applied to electronic and mechatronic products with special focus on the computer controllable hardware and the related software. On the structure level of the customisation model, the primary issues are about modularity and platforms. Product functionalities and component integration are important topics at the performance level and are also addressed. The two top levels are very often related to many products of this type, especially to products, which are equipped with some kind of user interface. The paper addresses a range of customisation issues of the customisation model in relationship with the balance between hardware and software of electronic and mechatronic products.