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Theses repository

Developing product families based on architectures

Contribution to a theory of product families

Developing product families based on architectures

Year: 2006

Author: Harlou, Ulf

Supervisor: Mortensen, Niels Henrik; Andreasen, Mogens Myrup; Daucke, Jørgen

Institution: Department of Mechanical EngineeringTechnical University of Denmark

Pages: 173

ISBN: 13 978-87-90130-07-7; 10 87-90130-07-3

Abstract

The subject of this PhD thesis is development of product families based on architectures. Companies are introducing more and more product variants to fulfil the market demands. These new variants add complexity to many of the processes and systems in the companies. Re-use of standard designs (i.e. design entities) and re-use of the way new products are developed can simplify the processes and systems. Case studies show that re-use can lead to reduction of cost and time-to-market of new products.
One of the means for managing re-use of standard designs within product families are architectures. This research studies the phenomenon of product families that are developed based upon architectures. It is stated that an architecture describes the building principle of a product family and how the product family should evolve over time. This implies that an architecture should prescribe how standard designs are re-used in one or more products.
This research contributes with a vocabulary for product families. The vocabulary distinguishes among architecture, platform, standard design and design unit. The contribution is based on the artefact theories the Theory of technical systems and the Theory of domains. The vocabulary distinguishes between design entities, which are re-used (standard designs) and those that are not re-used (design units). Also, this research distinguishes between architecture and platform. An architecture is the building principle for product families. A platform is the physical and re-usable realisation of the architecture.
Two supporting tools are introduced in this research for modelling architectures and product families. The first tool is denoted Generic organ diagram. It aims at modelling the structures and interfaces of architectures. The second tool is denoted Product family master plan (PFMP). The PFMP aims at modelling product families and especially variety of product families.
The results of this thesis build on research literature and experiences from the industrial partners. Extensive verifications of the theory contributions, models and tools have been carried out in industrial projects. The primary industrial partner has been Bang & Olufsen, but other industrial applications have been carried out at Vestas, Alfa Laval, LEGO and YORK Refrigeration.

Resumé
Temaet for denne PhD afhandling er udvikling af produktfamilier baseret på arkitekturer. Mange virksomheder introducerer flere og flere produktvarianter i deres produktprogrammer for at tilfredsstille markederne. Disse nye produktvarianter tilføjer ekstra kompleksitet til virksomhedernes forretningsprocesser og systemer. Genbrug af standard designs (dvs. konstruktionsløsninger) og genbrug af måden hvorpå nye produkter fremtages, kan simplificere virksomhedernes forretningsprocesser og systemer. Studier viser at genbrug kan medføre reduktion i omkostninger og fremtagningstiden.
Et af midlerne til at håndtere genbrug af standard designs i produktfamilier er arkitektur. Dette forskningsprojekt har studeret hvorledes produktfamilier kan udvikles baseret på arkitekturer. Det fastslås at en arkitektur beskriver en produktfamilies byggeprincip, og måden hvorpå produktfamilien over tid skal udvikle sig. Det betyder at en arkitektur skal beskrive hvorledes standard designs genbruges i flere produkter.
Dette forskningsprojekt bidrager med et sprog som omfatter produktfamilier. Sproget skelner imellem arkitektur, platform, standard design og design unit. Det forskningsmćssige bidrag er baseret på Teorien for tekniske systemer og Domćneteorien. Sproget skelner mellem konstruktionsløsninger som kan genbruges (standard designs), og løsninger som ikke kan genbruges (design units). Endvidere skelnes der mellem arkitekturer og platforme. En arkitektur beskriver en produktfamilies byggeprincip, mens en platform beskriver den fysiske og genbrugelige del af arkitekturen.
To vćrktøjer introduceres til at modellere arkitekturer og produktfamilier. Det ene vćrktøj kaldes Generic organ diagram. Det anvendes til at modellere strukturer og grćnseflader for arkitekturer. Det andet vćrktøj kaldes Product family master plan (PFMP). PFMP anvendes til at modellere produktfamilier og specielt variansen af produktfamilier.
Resultaterne af dette projekt bygger på litteraturstudier og erfaringer fra industrielle partnere. Omfattende verifikation af teoribidragene, modellerne og vćrktøjerne er gennemført i industrielle projekter. Den primćre industrielle partner har vćret Bang & Olufsen, men andre industrielle projekter er gennemført hos Vestas, Alfa Laval, LEGO og YORK Refrigeration.

Keywords: product families, platforms, modules, standard designs and architectures, produktfamilier, platforme, moduler, standard designs og arkitekturer

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