Supporting the modification process of products through a change management tool
Editor: Udo Lindemann, Srinivasan V, Yong Se Kim, Sang Won Lee, John Clarkson, Gaetano Cascini
Author: Malatesta, Marco; Raffaeli, Roberto; Mengoni, Maura; Germani, Michele
Institution: 1: Università Politecnica delle Marche, Italy; 2: Università Telematica eCampus, Italy
Updating products requires design activities, virtual and physical prototyping of new solutions, test and validation steps. If problems are detected at any of these stages, they cause iterations, waste of time and resources. A change propagation method is initially described as a way to facilitate the introduction of product changes. The approach relies on a multilevel product representation, the modelling of the component dependencies, algorithms to compute the propagation of some desired changes. Outputs are represented by the list of the affected components and indices indicating the impact on the product requirements. The method has been applied in the whole redesign process of a standard product like the fridge. Modifications must be usually released under time constraints. In this context, the outputs of the proposed method are an useful support to reduce iterations and resources waste. The experimentation has been based on case studies assigned to two groups of designers working with and without the tool. It has resulted that designers become more aware of the implications of the engineering changes, they are allowed of better decisions and the whole process becomes shorter.