Automatic design structure matrices: A comparison of two formula student projects

DS 87-6 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 6: Design Information and Knowledge, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08.2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Gopsill, James; Snider, Chris; Emanuel, Lia; Joel-Edgar, Sian; Hicks, Ben
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: University of Bristol, United Kingdom; 2: University of Bath, United Kingdom
Section: Design Information and Knowledge
Page(s): 031-040
ISBN: 978-1-904670-94-0
ISSN: 2220-4342


Design Structure Matrices have become a fundamental tool to support engineers in their handling and management of interactions across product & organisational architectures. Recent work in the field has exploited the opportunity afforded by Product Lifecycle Management systems, which capture the digital footprint of engineering projects to generate Design Structure Matrices in real-time through the co-occurrence of edits to product models. Given the systematic and more objective nature of the generation of these DSMs as well as being able to monitor their evolution throughout engineering projects, there now lies an opportunity in comparing projects/products using DSMs. To investigate this and the potential insights that could be generated, this paper presents the automatic generation of DSMs for two Formula Student projects. These have then been compared with respect to the end-of-project, change propagation characteristics and evolution of the DSMs. From this analysis, six insights have been generated that map the characteristics of the DSMs to the performance of the project/product and highlights the potential of automatic DSMs to further support engineering project management.

Keywords: Design management, Design Structure Matrices, Computer Aided Design (CAD), Product architecture, Project management

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