Predicting Change Propagation: Algorithms, Representations, Software Tools

Year: 2007
Author: Keller, René
Supervisor: Eckert, Claudia
Institution: Cambridge University Engineering Department
Page(s): 261


Managing engineering changes is still a problem in industry. On the one hand, new designs are mostly changes to older designs, allowing designers to build on existing technologies that work and adapt them to new requirements. On the other hand, changes can have knock-on effects leading to unwanted and emerging changes to other components. Knowing the risks of change propagation before a change is carried out has been identified as being crucial for developing products on-time and in-budget. This thesis is aimed at improving designers’ ability to assess change risks based on existing research in the Engineering Design Centre (EDC), University of Cambridge. While previous research has mainly focused on the detailed design phase, this dissertation also investigates the possibility to incorporate the CPM methodology into the early conceptual design stage of the design process. The methods introduced in this thesis to achieve this goal, however, are not limited to the application at this point in the design process, but can support the design in various stages. The methods introduced and described are: enhanced computations of combined change risks resulting from change propagation, visualisation of change risks for the assessment of risks and implementation of these methods into a software tool.

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