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The hunt for proper relation weights in product architecture clustering
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Machine Design (Dept.).
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM).
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Machine Design (Dept.), Machine Design (Div.).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4461-0209
2018 (English)In: Proceedings of NordDesign 2018, Linköping, Sweden, 14th - 17th August 2018, The Design Society, 2018Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A common view is that a module should be a functional building block, with well-defined and standardized interfaces between the modules, and that it should be chosen for company specific reasons. A modular product architecture is a strategic means to deliver external variety and internal commonality. Today, multiple modularisation methodologies exist to support the highly complex task to identify module candidates in the product architecting phase. One methodology is Modular Function Deployment with the Modular Indication Matrix (MIM) representation of company-specific module drivers. Other methodologies, such as Design Structure Matrix (DSM) clustering, may be used to identify modules from a technical complexity point of view. In this paper, the performance of the newly proposed Integrated Modularization Methodology (IMM), which is based on clustering of a strategically adapted DSM, is conceptually verified. The core of the IMM is to transfer company specific module drivers from the MIM into the component-DSM, before clustering this hybrid representation. A re-architecting industrial case, where a truck manufacturer with a unique business strategy had to redesign parts of its modular gearbox architecture to also become a First-Tier OEM-supplier to another large truck manufacturer, is used as test bench. Reverse engineering of the investigated gearbox architecture indicates that the current modules are most likely not only based on technical complexity concerns. They are rather derived from different types of business strategic aspects, e.g. outsourcing. The study also indicates that the IMM is capable of identifying clusters without strategic conflicts, and with the most similar result to the analysed architecture, which is assumed to be based on expert judgements.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
The Design Society, 2018.
Keywords [en]
Product Architecting, Modularization, Integrated Modularization, DSM, MFD
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Research subject
Machine Design
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-244472Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85057192599ISBN: 978-91-7685-185-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-244472DiVA, id: diva2:1290945
Conference
NordDesign 2018, Linköping, Sweden, 14th - 17th August 2018
Note

QC 20190412

Available from: 2019-02-21 Created: 2019-02-21 Last updated: 2019-04-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. On integrated modularization for situated product configuration
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On integrated modularization for situated product configuration
2019 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Road transports face increasing societal challenges with respect to emissions, safety, and traffic congestion, as well as business challenges. Truck automation, e.g. self-driving trucks may be utilized to address some of these issues. Autonomous transport vehicles may be characterized as Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS). A drawback is that CPS significantly increase technical complexity and thus introduce new challenges to system architecting.

A product architecture is the interrelation between physical components and their function, i.e. their purpose. Product architectures can be categorized as being modular or integral. The main purpose of a modular architecture is to enable external variety and at the same time internal commonality. Products with a modular architecture are configured from predesigned building blocks, i.e. modules. A stable module, which is a carrier of main function(s) has standardized interfaces, is configured for company-specific reasons, which means it supports a company-specific (business) strategy.

In this thesis, the present state at the heavy vehicle manufacturer Scania, concerning product architecting, modularization, product description and configuration is investigated. Moreover, a new clustering based method for product modularization that integrates product complexity and company business strategies is proposed. The method is logically verified with multiple industrial cases, where the architecture of a heavy truck driveline is used as a test bench. The driveline contains synergistic configurations of mechanical, electrical and software technologies that are constituents of an automated  and/or semi-autonomous system, i.e. the driveline may be characterized as a CPS. The architecture is analyzed both from technical complexity and business strategy point of view. 

The presented research indicates that a structured methodology which supports the development of the product architecture is needed at Scania, to enable control of the increasing technical complexity in the Cyber-Physical Systems. Finally, configuration rules are identified to be highly important in order to successfully realize a modular product architecture. A drawback with this approach is that the solution space becomes hard to identify, therefore a complete and flexible product description methodology is essential. The results from the case studies indicate that clustering of a Product Architecture DSM may result in a modular architecture with significantly reduced complexity, but with clusters that contain conflicting module drivers. It is also identified that the new modularization methodology is capable of identifying and proposing reasonable module candidates that address product complexity as well as company-specific strategies. Furthermore, several case studies show that the proposed method can be used for analyzing and finding the explicit and/or implicit, technical as well as strategic, reasons behind the architecture of an existing product. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
STOCKHOLM: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2019. p. 40
Series
TRITA-ITM-AVL ; 2019:4
Keywords
Modularization, Product Description, Module, Product Structure, Product Architecture, Cyber-Physical System
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Research subject
Machine Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-244475 (URN)978-91-7873-115-2 (ISBN)
Presentation
2019-03-14, B242, Brinellvägen 83, STOCKHOLM, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-02-25 Created: 2019-02-22 Last updated: 2019-02-25Bibliographically approved

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Scopushttps://www.designsociety.org/publication/40949/The+hunt+for+proper+relation+weights+in+product+architecture+clustering

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Sellgren, UlfSöderberg, Anders

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