In order to face the rapid changing market requirements, companies need methods and tools in order to implement flexibility over the whole product development process, from ideation to manufacturing. The proposed approach targets the development of a method to support decision making in product redesign activities. Design alternatives and product modifications can be rapidly evaluated in terms of feasibility, cost and time. The approach is based on a product structure multilevel representation, where functions, modules, assemblies and components are strictly interrelated. The representation allows criteria and rules in order to efficiently connect the elements within the same level and among levels. Such connections will contain the values to estimate the impact of analyzed product changes. In this way the structure will serve as evaluation tool in the early redesign phases. In order to manage and interact with the structure a software tool has been developed, called Modulor. This system allows modeling the product representation and rapidly evaluating the consequences in terms of change propagation. The tool was tested within the R&D department of a large sized company producing household appliances. Pilot studies have revealed shorter redesign cycles thanks to a broader understanding of implications while deciding among several implementation solutions.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.