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RoboticsandComputerIntegratedManufacturing151999387}401ProductmodularizationforlifecycleengineeringP.Gu,*,S.SosaleDepartmentofMechanicalandManufacturingEngineering,TheUniversityofCalgary,2500UniversityDrive,Calgary,Alberta,CanadaT2N1N4ImperialRubber,Ltd.,Edmonton,CanadaReceived24January1999;receivedinrevisedform15July1999;accepted10August1999AbstractModularproductsconsistofdetachablemodules,whichcanbemanufactured,assembled,andservicedseparately.Someofthemodulesmaybereusable,recyclableorre-manufacturableuponproductretirement.Thus,modulardesigncanprovidebenetstomanyaspectsofproductlifecycle.Thispaperpresentsanintegratedmodulardesignmethodologyforlifecycleengineering.Themethodologyconsistsofthreephasesproblemdenition,interactionanalysisandmoduleformation.Themethodologyidentiesthefactorsrelatedtothedesignobjectives,relatesthesefactorstodesigncomponentsthroughinteractionanalysis,andclusterscomponentsintomodules.Twocasestudiesalongwithdetailedanalysisareprovidedtoillustratethemethodologyandthealgorithms.1999ElsevierScienceLtd.Allrightsreserved.1.IntroductionModulardesignaimstodevelopproductarchitectureconsistingofphysicallydetachableunitsmodules.Therearemanyadvantagesformodularproducts.Forexample,bycarefullymodularizingaproduct,thede-signsfortheearliermodelscanbeusedinanewmodelwithoutanychanges.Modulardesigncanalsohelpincreatingarangeofproductswithminorvariances.Additionalandauxiliarymodulescouldbeaddedtoaproducttocreatenewmodels.Modulardesignalsoallowssomecomponentstobeusedacrossproductvariantsandproductlinesduetostandardizationofthefunctionsandinterfaces.Recentstudyindicatedthatafterproductsareretired,someofthemodulesmightbereusable,orremanufacturable.Infact,modulardesigncancreatebenetsformanyaspectsofaproductlifecyclesuchasdesign,assembly,servicesandrecycling[1,2].Thus,thereisaneedfordevelopingasystematicap-proachformodulardesignrelatingtoproductlifecycleengineering.Researchinlifecycleengineeringandcon-currentengineeringhassuggestedthatthemostimpor-tantdecisionsbemadeatthedesignstages[3}8].*Correspondingauthor.E-mailaddressguenme.ucalgary.caP.GuTherefore,productdesign,modellingandintegrationhavereceivedsignicantattentions[9,10].Theobjectiveofthisresearchistodevelopanewmodulardesignmethodologytoaddressproductlifecycleconcernsatthedesignstage.Toachievethedenedlifecycleengineeringobjectivesthroughmodulardesign,therelationshipsbetweentheobjectivesandthemodulesshouldbeestablished.Asproductfunctionsarerealizedbyphysicalstructures,therelationshipsbetweenfunctionsandphysicalsolutionsshouldalsobedetermined.Essentially,modulardesigndecomposesaproductorgroupscomponentsintosepar-atemodules.Specialcaremustbetakentoensurethatseparationormergerofcomponentsdoesnotaecttheintendedfunctionsoftheproduct.Thisrequiresthecon-siderationoffunctionalandphysicalinteractionsamongcomponents.Functionalinteractionsareusuallyexpressedintheformoftheexchangeofmaterial,energyand/orsignal.Theycanbeextractedfromthefunctionalstructureoftheproduct.Whenmodulesthatexchangethefunctionoperandsareseparated,specialprovisionsareneededforinterfacing;otherwisetheexpectedfunctionsmaybeaected.Physicalinteractionsrefertospatialandgeometricalrelationships.Theyincludeattachmentphysicalcontacts,xationsandstops,joints,fasteners,couplings,weldsandthelike,positioningrelativedistanceoranglebetween0736-5845/99/-seefrontmatter1999ElsevierScienceLtd.Allrightsreserved.PIIS0736-58459900049-6components,alignmentincludingcoaxial,collinear,par-allel,perpendicularandushalignments,motioncam-controlledobjects,trajectoryofjointsandend-eectors,etc.andcontainmente.g.componentscontainedwithinthesamehousing.Thesephysicalandstructuralcon-straintsmustbeconsideredwhencomponentsaregroupedintomodules.Forproductassembly,productarchitectureshouldbedesignedtoensureecientassemblyprocessandquality.Dierentmodularizationofaproductwilldirectlyaectassemblyprocedures,assemblyeciencyandcosts,espe-ciallylargestructureassembly[11].Modularizationwillallowmodulesproduced,assembledandtestedinconve-nientlocationswithequipment,toolsandexpertise.Forproductreuseandrecycling,dierentcomponentsofaproductmayhavedierentlifeduration.Whenaproductretires,theremaybesomeusablecomponents,andsomecomponentsmayberecoveredbyre-manufac-turing.Modulardesigncangroupthesecomponentsintoeasilydetachablemodulessuchthattheycanbeeasilyreusedorremanufactured.Forrecycling,materialcompatibilityshouldbecon-sideredasdierentmaterialswhichmayrequiredierentrecyclingordisposalmethods.Amodularproductcanfacilitatetheseparationandsortingofdierentmaterialsforproperrecyclingordisposalprocesses.Asaconcept,modulardesignhasbeenexploredbymanyresearchers[11}13].Variousdesignmethodshavebeenproposed.Themethodsofusingfunctionalstruc-turesformodularizationcomposedmodulesbygroupingthefunction-relatedelementstogether[13}15].EppingerandPimmler[16]usedphysicalrelationsformoduledesign.Erixon[17]proposedtousequalityfunctiondeploymentQFDtomodularizeaproduct.Hillstrom[12]applieddesignaxiomstoevaluatetheinterfacesamongmodules.Mistreeetal.[18]demonstratedwithanexamplethatthereisarelationshipbetweentheinde-pendenceamongmodulesandreducinginteractionsbetweenthem.KusiakandHuang[19]proposedanapproachformodularizingaproductbyconsideringthecostsandperformanceofaproduct.Tomodularizeaproduct,clusteringalgorithmsareoftenused.EppingerandPimmler[16]usedaheuristicswappingalgorithmtoclustercomponentsintomodules.Newcombetal.[20]usedtheclusteringalgorithmde-velopedbyKusiakandChow[21]toidentifymodulesinaproduct.Kusiakandco-workershavedevelopedsev-eralclusteringalgorithms,whichcanbeusedforcom-ponentclustering[22}24].ThispaperisorganizedasfollowsThefollowingsectionintroducesthelifecycleengineeringobjectivesofmodulardesign.Theproposedmethodologyisthenprovided.Todemonstratethemethodologyandtheal-gorithms,twocasestudiesaregiveninthefollowingsection.Thenalsectionisthediscussionsandthecon-clusions.2.ProductlifecycleobjectivesofmodulardesignAproductlifecycleembracesanumberofissuesincludingdesign,manufacturing,assembly,testing,shipping,distribution,operationuse,services,reuse,re-manufacturing,recyclinganddisposal.Ideally,amodulardesigncanachievealltheselifecycleobjec-tivessimultaneously.Inreality,dierentobjectivesmayrequiredierentmodulestobeformed.Consequently,conictsmayoccur.Acompromiseisoftenrequiredformakingdesigndecisions.Thefollowingisalistofthemodulardesignobjectivesrelatingtoproductlifecyclebenets.1.Dividingdesigntaskforparalleldevelopment.Designofcomplexproductsmayrequiredesignteamsconsistingofexpertsfromdierentdisciplines.Sequentialdevelop-mentofsuchproductsmaytakealongtime.Bybreakingdowntheoveralldesignanddevelopmenttaskintosimplersub-tasksandproperlydeningtheinterfacesbetweenthesub-tasks,designteamscancarryoutthesub-tasksinparalleltoreduceproductdesignanddevel-opmenttime.2.Productionandassemblyimprovement.Modulesareessentiallyindependententitiesforaproductwithde-nedinterfaceswithothermodulesandcomponents.Modulescanbemanufacturedseparatelyindierentlocationstofacilitateproductionprocessesandexpertise,andtooptimizeequipmentutilization.Productarchitectureaectsassemblyeciencyoftheproduct.Dierentscenariosofmodularitymayresultindierentassemblyprocedureswithdierentassemblytimesandcosts.Incomparisonwithintegralarchitec-turesofproducts,especiallyforlarge,complexproducts,modulararchitectureallowsseparatemodulestobeas-sembledinthemostconvenientlocationsandthenputtogethertoreducethetotalassemblytimeandcosts.3.Standardization.Variousmodelsofproductse.g.afamilyofproductsmayhavesomeidenticalfunctionsintheirfunctionalstructures.Thesefunctionscanberealizedbysimilarorevenidenticalphysicalstructuresmodules.Thesecommonmodulescanbestandardizedandproducedinlargerbatchsizestoimproveproduc-tioneciencyandqualityandreducecosts.Italsoen-hancesthestandardizationofacompany.4.Services.Productsusuallyrequirebothpreventivemaintenanceandrecoveryrepairs.Dierentcomponentsofaproducthavedierentmaintenancefrequenciesandrepairrequirements.Bygroupingcomponentsintoeasilydisassemblemodules,faultanalysisandmaintenanceoftheproductsaremoreeasilyfacilitated.Whenafailureoccurs,thefaultymodulecanbetemporarilyreplaced,thefaultypartswithinthemodulearerepaired,andthenthemoduleisreturnedtoservice.Themainconsider-ationsrequiredforserviceabilityarefrequencyoffailure,servicerequirements,meantimeofrepairs,frequencyofpreventiveservices,accessibilityofcomponents,costof388P.Gu,S.Sosale/RoboticsandComputerIntegratedManufacturing151999387}401replacements,andrepaircomplexityintermsofthespecialskillsortoolsrequired.5.Upgrading.Everyproducthasalifecycleandevent-uallyretires.Manyreasonscontributetotheretirementofaproductsuchascustomerdemandfornewmodelsandwearoftheproduct.Todayshighlycompetitivemarketandhighconsumerexpectationsdemandmanu-facturerstointroducenewmodelsinashortperiodoftime.Also,therapidlychangingtechnologyquicklymakesproductsobsolete,althoughtheyareusablee.g.computers.Thetimeandeortrequiredtointroduceanewproductmodelareusuallysubstantial.Onewaytofacilitaterapidintroductionofnewmodelsisthroughreuseoftheexistingdesignandproductionprocessesoftheoldmodelswithaslittlechangesaspossibleinordertoreducethetimeandeortfornewmodeldevelopment.6.Reconxguration.Whenfunctionsoftwoproductsaresosimilar,onecanbeconvertedtotheotherbysmallmodications.Oftentheusersdonotneedorcannotaordcost,space,etc.aspecialproductforaparticularfunction.Thecongurableproductscanaccommodatetheneeds.Bychangingthearrangementofafewmodulesoraddingoneormoremodules,therequiredfunctionsmayberealizedbytheexistingproduct.Anexampleofthistypeofmodularityisrecongurablemachinetools.Byaddinganauxiliaryattachment,averticalmillingmachinecanbeusedforhorizontalmillingoperations.7.Recycling,reuseanddisposal.Dierentcomponentsofaproductmayhavedierentlifeduration.Whenaproductretires,theremaybesomeusablecomponents.Modulardesigncangroupthesecomponentsintoeasilydetachablemodulessuchthattheycanbeeasilyreused.Forrecycling,materialcompatibilityshouldbeconsideredasdierentmaterialsmayrequiredierentrecyclingordisposalmethods.Amodularproductcanfacilitatetheseparationandsortingofdierentmaterialsforproperrecyclingordisposalprocesses.8.Productvarietyandcustomization.Customersusu-allyhaveindividualtastesandpreferences.Itisdiculttodesignandmanufactureasinglemodelofproductsthatcansatisfyallcustomers.Oftenaproductentersthemarketinvariousmodelswithslightlydierentfeaturesandoptionstosatisfycustomerdemands,whilethemainfunctionremainsthesamee.g.camcorders.Thistypeofmodelvarietyisusuallyoeredbymanufacturerse.g.choiceofsedanorstationwagonforcars.Manufacturerscanalsocreatemodelsforindividualcustomerse.g.custom-madebicyclesandcomputers.Amodularprod-uctcanprovidecustomerswithchoiceofmodelsthroughre-arrangingafewoptionalmodules.Theaboveisalistofproductlifecycleobjectivesandbenetsthatmodularproductscanprovide.Mostlikely,itisnotpossiblethatallofthebenetscanbeachievedsimultaneously.Productdesignersanddevelopersshouldidentifythemostimportantcharacteristicsoftheproductsandusethefollowingmethodologytoachievethem.3.TheproposedmethodologyAnewmodulardesignmethodologyisdevelopedthatconsidersvariouslifecycleengineeringobjectivessuchasassembly,maintenance,reuseandrecycling.Itisidealifamodularcongurationcanachieveallobjectives.How-ever,itisexpectedthatconictsarise.Itisthedesigners’responsibilitytomaketrade-odecisions.Modularde-signcanbeapproachedintwoways1formmodulesbasedoneachobjectiveseparatelyandthenmaketrade-odecisionsbetweendierentmodularcongurations,or2modularizeaproductbasedonaweightedaverageobjective.Theproposedmethodologycanbeusedforthebothways.Themethodologyconsistsofthreemainphasesproblemdenition,interactionanalysisandmoduleformation.3.1.Phase1problemdexnitionTheproblemdenitionincludesidentifyingthetypeandcharacteristicsofthedesignproblem,decomposingtheoverallproblemintosub-problems,anddeterminingtheobjectivesofmodularization,oneormoreoftheobjectivesasdiscussedintheprecedingsection.3.1.1.IdentixcationoftypeandcharacteristicsofthedesignproblemManydecisionsmadeduringdesignprocessdependonthetypeofdesigntasks.Thedesigntaskscanbedierentintermsofthedegreeoforiginalityofthedesign,thevarietyoftheproductsasingleproductversusafamilyofproductswithsimilarfunctions,lifespanofdierentmodulesoftheproducte.g.existenceoflong-lastingandshort-lifemoduleswithintheproduct,andthescaleofthedesignprojectbudget,productionrate.Fortheoriginaldesign,designknowledgeisintheformoffunctionsandthusthedecompositiondeterminesthefunctionalstructureoftheproduct.Foradaptivedesignre-designwherethephysicalsolutionisalreadyknown,thedecompositionistheidenticationofphys-icalcomponentsorsub-systemswithintheproductphysicalstructure.Thedecompositionofaproductde-signintofunctionalandphysicalstructuresisaprerequi-siteformodularizingaproduct.3.1.2.IdentixcationofmodulardesignobjectivesAsmentionedintheprevioussection,aproductismodularizedforvariousobjectives.Forexample,foralargeandcomplexproductassemblythatconsistsofthousandsofpartsandhasashortdeliverytime,modularizationforassemblyisimportant.P.Gu,S.Sosale/RoboticsandComputerIntegratedManufacturing151999387}401389Fig.1.Thehierarchyofobjectivesandrelevantfactors.Table1StandardrelationshipfortwocomponentsNo.TypeofrelationshipInteractionvalueRelationshipforparticularobjective1Verystrong10Firmconnectionandhighrelationshipfunctionallyinseparable2Strong8Mediumconnectionbuthighrelationship3Mediumstrong6Firmconnectionandmediumrelationship4Medium5Mediumconnectionandmediumrelationship5Mediumweak4Looselyconnectedandmediumrelationship6Weak2Notadjacentrelationshipwithitsadjacentcomponent7No0NorelationatallSub-assembliesmodulescanbepreparedinparallelandthenassembledintothenalproduct.Inanothersituation,whenafamilyofsimilarproductsistobemade,modulardesignforstandardizationcanhelpcreatecommonmodulestoreducecomponentvarietyandcostsofproductdesignandmanufacturing.Also,modulardesignobjectivesmaybepursuedindividuallyorintegratedassingleobjectiveusingtheweightedaver-ageapproach.3.2.Phase2interactionanalysisAllmodulardesignapproachesattempttoclustercomponentsintomodulessuchthatinteractionsarelo-calizedwithineachmoduleandinteractionsbetweenmodulesareminimized.3.2.1.IdentixcationofrelevantfactorsEachobjectiveofmodulardesigndemandsasetoffactorstobeconsidered.Checklistshavebeendevelopedtohelpdesignersidentifyrelevantinteractionfactorsforeachoftheobjectives.Forexample,thelifeexpectancyofcomponentsisamainfactorforreuse.Eachinteractionfactorcanbedecomposedintosub-factors.Forexample,thephysicalfactorincludessub-factorsofcontact,alignmentandcontainment.Toevaluatetheinteractionsfortheobjective,valuesforeachinteractionareassigned.Thisformsahierarchyofobjec-tives,factorsandsub-factorsforinteractionanalysisFig.1.Atthelowestlevelforthe‘objectives-factors-sub-factorsahierarchy,thevaluesofinteractionsamongallcomponentsmustbedetermined.Thesevaluesaretabulatedinanarraycalledtheinteractionmatrix.Aninteractionvalueisanelementoftheinteractionmatrixandindicatesthedegreeofimportancethattwocompo-nentstherowandcolumncomponentstobeinthesamemodule.Thesevaluesarethenscaledtorangebetween0and10seeTable1.3.2.2.CalculationofweightedaverageAllinteractionvaluesatthelowestlevelcanbeusedcollectivelytocalculatetheweightedsumofinteractionsforanobjective.Inthehierarchyofinteractionsgener-atedintheabovesteps,alltheweightsthatrepresenttherelativeimportanceofthefactorsandtheobjectivesarenormalizedsuchthatthesummationofallbranchesfromeachnodeisequalto1.Forexample,ifthefunctionisaectedbyinteractionsintermsofenergyandmaterialexchangeonly,therelativeimportanceof,say,0.3and0.7areassignedtothesetwoaspects.Afteralllinksareevaluated,thecombinedmutualinteractionsbetweenthepartsarecalculatedby„„i,jKk/1fk„fki,jLl/1rl„rli,j,1where„„i,jistheweightedaverageinteractionforthetwocomponentsiandj,„fki,jthekthfunctionalinter-actionofcomponentsiandj,„rli,jthelthobjectiveinteractionofcomponentsiandj,fkthekthfunctionalfactorweightandrlthelthobjectivefactorweight.Theresultofthisphaseisanalinteractingmatrixwhichrepresentsalltherelevantinformationformoduleclustering.3.3.Phase3moduleformationSeveralalgorithmshavebeenimplementedtoclustercomponentsintomodulessuchthattheinteractionsbe-tweencomponentswithinmodulesaremaximized.Thesimulatedannealingalgorithmispresentedinthispapertondtheoptimumornear-optimumsolution.Thecomponentsinthematrixareassumedtobeseparable.Iftwocomponentsarenotseparableatall,theyarecon-sideredasasinglecomponent.390P.Gu,S.Sosale/RoboticsandComputerIntegratedManufacturing151999387}401
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