Nowadays customer demand for satisfactory product developed in limited time is rapidly posing a major challenge to product design and more distributed products are developed to address these concerns. In the distributed product design, engineering change (EC) is an inevitable phenomenon and consumes much production time. It is necessary to assess the design change effectively in advance. Some methods and tools to predict and analyze the change propagation influence have been provided. From the perspective of design change duration, our work extends the method of assessing design change by incorporating risk factors from different working groups in multiple design sites, functional maintenance during the change propagation. The primary result of this work is the provision of a design support to acquire the optimal design change scheme by estimating the duration. In this paper, risk factor of distributed design is applied to the influence evaluation of change propagation, which implies an increase of change propagation influence due to the varying levels of expertise, possible lack of communication. Besides, a deterministic simulation model is proposed to assess the change propagation schemes. The model combines the effects of design change parallelism, iteration, change propagation for the distributed product design. Based on the simulation results, a more focused discussion and identification of suitable design change schemes can be made. A case study of an assembly tooling for the reinforced frame is implemented to demonstrated how the developed method can be applied. Finally, the method is initially discussed and evaluated.

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