Year: 2015
Editor: Christian Weber, Stephan Husung, Gaetano Cascini, Marco Cantamessa, Dorian Marjanovic, Frederico Rotini
Author: Liu, Cong (1,2); Hildre, Hans Petter (2); Zhang, Houxiang (2); Rølvåg, Terje (1)
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway; 2: Aalesund University College, Norway
Section: Product Modularisation, Product Architecture, Systems Engineering, Product Service Systems
Page(s): 083-092
ISBN: 978-1-904670-70-4
ISSN: 2220-4334


Integrating a number of products into an all-in-one artefact is a common form of innovation. The integrated products can finally meet diverse customers’ needs, adapt to changes in the task or environment, or improve performance. Very often, the expansion of functionality achieved by the integrated products is accomplished with multiple modes, which enable the product to operate in various configuration states. This paper investigates the phenomena and significance of having multiple modes in regard to product family design and platform-based product development. As a revision of product architecture, the authors claim that modes indicate different clusters of functions and modules at different times. More intrinsically, the modes are seen as a product or system divided by time. Multi-modal products promote innovative and efficient design by actively reallocating system resources. As an example, the design of a dual-mode swimming climbing underwater robot is examined to verify the assertions.

Keywords: Product Architecture, Design Theory, Mechatronics, Mode, Reconfigurable Design

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