Platform Design for Producibility
Early-Stage Modeling and Assessment Support
In the near future, a variety* of products can be designed and prepared for production more efficiently than today. Such a future state is possible by creating a backup structure of neatly packaged design and production information in which future product ideas can be included to be quickly compared for their value. Perhaps you’ve once identified a problem that you’ve used your imagination to solve by outlining a design solution? It’s quite demanding to go from idea to physical solution. Even professional engineers struggle to include every imaginable aspect of a design. Luckily, design engineers have plenty of tools that can help them detail the ideal performance of a product. The problem is that designing the performance of a product is not enough to make the physical product behave as intended. Good performance on paper is quite often achieved at the expense of bad production, poor product quality and dissatisfied customers. So the design must be modified when the product is near its final completion, which often results in mediocre performance, mediocre production and mediocre product quality, as well as a broken budget. Shouldn’t engineers know better and include production aspects earlier so that they can carry out both good design and production? Well, to be fair, engineers today don’t have the supportive tools necessary to include production aspects early on while simultaneously designing a variety of product concepts. This research has therefore focused on the interplay of products and production systems to present new knowledge in the form of theoretical models, engineering methods and a practical tool that enables the creation of a backup structure of neatly packaged design and production information to be reused in and adapted for new design problems. Some future challenges are identified and need to be addressed before a variety of products can be designed and prepared for production more efficiently than in current industrial practice. To know more about this, you are more than welcome to acquaint yourself with the content of this thesis.
* Why variety? Well, because the likelihood that a product variant among a variety can meet the needs of any given customer is higher than for a single product, manufacturers can increase market share and become more profitable by offering variety.
Virtual Development Laboratory
Opponent: Prof. Niels Henrik Mortensen, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark