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RoboticsandComputerIntegratedManufacturing151999387}401ProductmodularizationforlifecycleengineeringP.Gu,,S.SosaleDepartmentofMechanicalandManufacturingEngineering,TheUniversityofCalgary,2500UniversityDrive,Calgary,Alberta,CanadaT2N1N4ImperialRubber,Ltd.,Edmonton,CanadaReceived24January1999receivedinrevisedform15July1999accepted10August1999AbstractModularproductsconsistofdetachablemodules,whichcanbemanufactured,assembled,andservicedseparately.Someofthemodulesmaybereusable,recyclableorremanufacturableuponproductretirement.Thus,modulardesigncanprovidebenetstomanyaspectsofproductlifecycle.Thispaperpresentsanintegratedmodulardesignmethodologyforlifecycleengineering.Themethodologyconsistsofthreephasesproblemdenition,interactionanalysisandmoduleformation.Themethodologyidentiesthefactorsrelatedtothedesignobjectives,relatesthesefactorstodesigncomponentsthroughinteractionanalysis,andclusterscomponentsintomodules.Twocasestudiesalongwithdetailedanalysisareprovidedtoillustratethemethodologyandthealgorithms.1999ElsevierScienceLtd.Allrightsreserved.1.IntroductionModulardesignaimstodevelopproductarchitectureconsistingofphysicallydetachableunitsmodules.Therearemanyadvantagesformodularproducts.Forexample,bycarefullymodularizingaproduct,thedesignsfortheearliermodelscanbeusedinanewmodelwithoutanychanges.Modulardesigncanalsohelpincreatingarangeofproductswithminorvariances.Additionalandauxiliarymodulescouldbeaddedtoaproducttocreatenewmodels.Modulardesignalsoallowssomecomponentstobeusedacrossproductvariantsandproductlinesduetostandardizationofthefunctionsandinterfaces.Recentstudyindicatedthatafterproductsareretired,someofthemodulesmightbereusable,orremanufacturable.Infact,modulardesigncancreatebenetsformanyaspectsofaproductlifecyclesuchasdesign,assembly,servicesandrecycling1,2.Thus,thereisaneedfordevelopingasystematicapproachformodulardesignrelatingtoproductlifecycleengineering.Researchinlifecycleengineeringandconcurrentengineeringhassuggestedthatthemostimportantdecisionsbemadeatthedesignstages3}8.Correspondingauthor.Emailaddressguenme.ucalgary.caP.GuTherefore,productdesign,modellingandintegrationhavereceivedsignicantattentions9,10.Theobjectiveofthisresearchistodevelopanewmodulardesignmethodologytoaddressproductlifecycleconcernsatthedesignstage.Toachievethedenedlifecycleengineeringobjectivesthroughmodulardesign,therelationshipsbetweentheobjectivesandthemodulesshouldbeestablished.Asproductfunctionsarerealizedbyphysicalstructures,therelationshipsbetweenfunctionsandphysicalsolutionsshouldalsobedetermined.Essentially,modulardesigndecomposesaproductorgroupscomponentsintoseparatemodules.Specialcaremustbetakentoensurethatseparationormergerofcomponentsdoesnotaecttheintendedfunctionsoftheproduct.Thisrequirestheconsiderationoffunctionalandphysicalinteractionsamongcomponents.Functionalinteractionsareusuallyexpressedintheformoftheexchangeofmaterial,energyand/orsignal.Theycanbeextractedfromthefunctionalstructureoftheproduct.Whenmodulesthatexchangethefunctionoperandsareseparated,specialprovisionsareneededforinterfacingotherwisetheexpectedfunctionsmaybeaected.Physicalinteractionsrefertospatialandgeometricalrelationships.Theyincludeattachmentphysicalcontacts,xationsandstops,joints,fasteners,couplings,weldsandthelike,positioningrelativedistanceoranglebetween07365845/99/seefrontmatter1999ElsevierScienceLtd.Allrightsreserved.PIIS0736584599000496components,alignmentincludingcoaxial,collinear,parallel,perpendicularandushalignments,motioncamcontrolledobjects,trajectoryofjointsandendeectors,etc.andcontainmente.g.componentscontainedwithinthesamehousing.Thesephysicalandstructuralconstraintsmustbeconsideredwhencomponentsaregroupedintomodules.Forproductassembly,productarchitectureshouldbedesignedtoensureecientassemblyprocessandquality.Dierentmodularizationofaproductwilldirectlyaectassemblyprocedures,assemblyeciencyandcosts,especiallylargestructureassembly11.Modularizationwillallowmodulesproduced,assembledandtestedinconvenientlocationswithequipment,toolsandexpertise.Forproductreuseandrecycling,dierentcomponentsofaproductmayhavedierentlifeduration.Whenaproductretires,theremaybesomeusablecomponents,andsomecomponentsmayberecoveredbyremanufacturing.Modulardesigncangroupthesecomponentsintoeasilydetachablemodulessuchthattheycanbeeasilyreusedorremanufactured.Forrecycling,materialcompatibilityshouldbeconsideredasdierentmaterialswhichmayrequiredierentrecyclingordisposalmethods.Amodularproductcanfacilitatetheseparationandsortingofdierentmaterialsforproperrecyclingordisposalprocesses.Asaconcept,modulardesignhasbeenexploredbymanyresearchers11}13.Variousdesignmethodshavebeenproposed.Themethodsofusingfunctionalstructuresformodularizationcomposedmodulesbygroupingthefunctionrelatedelementstogether13}15.EppingerandPimmler16usedphysicalrelationsformoduledesign.Erixon17proposedtousequalityfunctiondeploymentQFDtomodularizeaproduct.Hillstrom12applieddesignaxiomstoevaluatetheinterfacesamongmodules.Mistreeetal.18demonstratedwithanexamplethatthereisarelationshipbetweentheindependenceamongmodulesandreducinginteractionsbetweenthem.KusiakandHuang19proposedanapproachformodularizingaproductbyconsideringthecostsandperformanceofaproduct.Tomodularizeaproduct,clusteringalgorithmsareoftenused.EppingerandPimmler16usedaheuristicswappingalgorithmtoclustercomponentsintomodules.Newcombetal.20usedtheclusteringalgorithmdevelopedbyKusiakandChow21toidentifymodulesinaproduct.Kusiakandcoworkershavedevelopedseveralclusteringalgorithms,whichcanbeusedforcomponentclustering22}24.ThispaperisorganizedasfollowsThefollowingsectionintroducesthelifecycleengineeringobjectivesofmodulardesign.Theproposedmethodologyisthenprovided.Todemonstratethemethodologyandthealgorithms,twocasestudiesaregiveninthefollowingsection.Thenalsectionisthediscussionsandtheconclusions.2.ProductlifecycleobjectivesofmodulardesignAproductlifecycleembracesanumberofissuesincludingdesign,manufacturing,assembly,testing,shipping,distribution,operationuse,services,reuse,remanufacturing,recyclinganddisposal.Ideally,amodulardesigncanachievealltheselifecycleobjectivessimultaneously.Inreality,dierentobjectivesmayrequiredierentmodulestobeformed.Consequently,conictsmayoccur.Acompromiseisoftenrequiredformakingdesigndecisions.Thefollowingisalistofthemodulardesignobjectivesrelatingtoproductlifecyclebenets.1.Dividingdesigntaskforparalleldevelopment.Designofcomplexproductsmayrequiredesignteamsconsistingofexpertsfromdierentdisciplines.Sequentialdevelopmentofsuchproductsmaytakealongtime.Bybreakingdowntheoveralldesignanddevelopmenttaskintosimplersubtasksandproperlydeningtheinterfacesbetweenthesubtasks,designteamscancarryoutthesubtasksinparalleltoreduceproductdesignanddevelopmenttime.2.Productionandassemblyimprovement.Modulesareessentiallyindependententitiesforaproductwithdenedinterfaceswithothermodulesandcomponents.Modulescanbemanufacturedseparatelyindierentlocationstofacilitateproductionprocessesandexpertise,andtooptimizeequipmentutilization.Productarchitectureaectsassemblyeciencyoftheproduct.Dierentscenariosofmodularitymayresultindierentassemblyprocedureswithdierentassemblytimesandcosts.Incomparisonwithintegralarchitecturesofproducts,especiallyforlarge,complexproducts,modulararchitectureallowsseparatemodulestobeassembledinthemostconvenientlocationsandthenputtogethertoreducethetotalassemblytimeandcosts.3.Standardization.Variousmodelsofproductse.g.afamilyofproductsmayhavesomeidenticalfunctionsintheirfunctionalstructures.Thesefunctionscanberealizedbysimilarorevenidenticalphysicalstructuresmodules.Thesecommonmodulescanbestandardizedandproducedinlargerbatchsizestoimproveproductioneciencyandqualityandreducecosts.Italsoenhancesthestandardizationofacompany.4.Services.Productsusuallyrequirebothpreventivemaintenanceandrecoveryrepairs.Dierentcomponentsofaproducthavedierentmaintenancefrequenciesandrepairrequirements.Bygroupingcomponentsintoeasilydisassemblemodules,faultanalysisandmaintenanceoftheproductsaremoreeasilyfacilitated.Whenafailureoccurs,thefaultymodulecanbetemporarilyreplaced,thefaultypartswithinthemodulearerepaired,andthenthemoduleisreturnedtoservice.Themainconsiderationsrequiredforserviceabilityarefrequencyoffailure,servicerequirements,meantimeofrepairs,frequencyofpreventiveservices,accessibilityofcomponents,costof388P.Gu,S.Sosale/RoboticsandComputerIntegratedManufacturing151999387}401replacements,andrepaircomplexityintermsofthespecialskillsortoolsrequired.5.Upgrading.Everyproducthasalifecycleandeventuallyretires.Manyreasonscontributetotheretirementofaproductsuchascustomerdemandfornewmodelsandwearoftheproduct.Todayshighlycompetitivemarketandhighconsumerexpectationsdemandmanufacturerstointroducenewmodelsinashortperiodoftime.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.Customersusuallyhaveindividualtastesandpreferences.Itisdiculttodesignandmanufactureasinglemodelofproductsthatcansatisfyallcustomers.Oftenaproductentersthemarketinvariousmodelswithslightlydierentfeaturesandoptionstosatisfycustomerdemands,whilethemainfunctionremainsthesamee.g.camcorders.Thistypeofmodelvarietyisusuallyoeredbymanufacturerse.g.choiceofsedanorstationwagonforcars.Manufacturerscanalsocreatemodelsforindividualcustomerse.g.custommadebicyclesandcomputers.Amodularproductcanprovidecustomerswithchoiceofmodelsthroughrearrangingafewoptionalmodules.Theaboveisalistofproductlifecycleobjectivesandbenetsthatmodularproductscanprovide.Mostlikely,itisnotpossiblethatallofthebenetscanbeachievedsimultaneously.Productdesignersanddevelopersshouldidentifythemostimportantcharacteristicsoftheproductsandusethefollowingmethodologytoachievethem.3.TheproposedmethodologyAnewmodulardesignmethodologyisdevelopedthatconsidersvariouslifecycleengineeringobjectivessuchasassembly,maintenance,reuseandrecycling.Itisidealifamodularcongurationcanachieveallobjectives.However,itisexpectedthatconictsarise.Itisthedesignersresponsibilitytomaketradeodecisions.Modulardesigncanbeapproachedintwoways1formmodulesbasedoneachobjectiveseparatelyandthenmaketradeodecisionsbetweendierentmodularcongurations,or2modularizeaproductbasedonaweightedaverageobjective.Theproposedmethodologycanbeusedforthebothways.Themethodologyconsistsofthreemainphasesproblemdenition,interactionanalysisandmoduleformation.3.1.Phase1problemdexnitionTheproblemdenitionincludesidentifyingthetypeandcharacteristicsofthedesignproblem,decomposingtheoverallproblemintosubproblems,anddeterminingtheobjectivesofmodularization,oneormoreoftheobjectivesasdiscussedintheprecedingsection.3.1.1.IdentixcationoftypeandcharacteristicsofthedesignproblemManydecisionsmadeduringdesignprocessdependonthetypeofdesigntasks.Thedesigntaskscanbedierentintermsofthedegreeoforiginalityofthedesign,thevarietyoftheproductsasingleproductversusafamilyofproductswithsimilarfunctions,lifespanofdierentmodulesoftheproducte.g.existenceoflonglastingandshortlifemoduleswithintheproduct,andthescaleofthedesignprojectbudget,productionrate.Fortheoriginaldesign,designknowledgeisintheformoffunctionsandthusthedecompositiondeterminesthefunctionalstructureoftheproduct.Foradaptivedesignredesignwherethephysicalsolutionisalreadyknown,thedecompositionistheidenticationofphysicalcomponentsorsubsystemswithintheproductphysicalstructure.Thedecompositionofaproductdesignintofunctionalandphysicalstructuresisaprerequisiteformodularizingaproduct.3.1.2.IdentixcationofmodulardesignobjectivesAsmentionedintheprevioussection,aproductismodularizedforvariousobjectives.Forexample,foralargeandcomplexproductassemblythatconsistsofthousandsofpartsandhasashortdeliverytime,modularizationforassemblyisimportant.P.Gu,S.Sosale/RoboticsandComputerIntegratedManufacturing151999387}401389Fig.1.Thehierarchyofobjectivesandrelevantfactors.Table1StandardrelationshipfortwocomponentsNo.TypeofrelationshipInteractionvalueRelationshipforparticularobjective1Verystrong10Firmconnectionandhighrelationshipfunctionallyinseparable2Strong8Mediumconnectionbuthighrelationship3Mediumstrong6Firmconnectionandmediumrelationship4Medium5Mediumconnectionandmediumrelationship5Mediumweak4Looselyconnectedandmediumrelationship6Weak2Notadjacentrelationshipwithitsadjacentcomponent7No0NorelationatallSubassembliesmodulescanbepreparedinparallelandthenassembledintothenalproduct.Inanothersituation,whenafamilyofsimilarproductsistobemade,modulardesignforstandardizationcanhelpcreatecommonmodulestoreducecomponentvarietyandcostsofproductdesignandmanufacturing.Also,modulardesignobjectivesmaybepursuedindividuallyorintegratedassingleobjectiveusingtheweightedaverageapproach.3.2.Phase2interactionanalysisAllmodulardesignapproachesattempttoclustercomponentsintomodulessuchthatinteractionsarelocalizedwithineachmoduleandinteractionsbetweenmodulesareminimized.3.2.1.IdentixcationofrelevantfactorsEachobjectiveofmodulardesigndemandsasetoffactorstobeconsidered.Checklistshavebeendevelopedtohelpdesignersidentifyrelevantinteractionfactorsforeachoftheobjectives.Forexample,thelifeexpectancyofcomponentsisamainfactorforreuse.Eachinteractionfactorcanbedecomposedintosubfactors.Forexample,thephysicalfactorincludessubfactorsofcontact,alignmentandcontainment.Toevaluatetheinteractionsfortheobjective,valuesforeachinteractionareassigned.Thisformsahierarchyofobjectives,factorsandsubfactorsforinteractionanalysisFig.1.Atthelowestlevelfortheobjectivesfactorssubfactorsahierarchy,thevaluesofinteractionsamongallcomponentsmustbedetermined.Thesevaluesaretabulatedinanarraycalledtheinteractionmatrix.Aninteractionvalueisanelementoftheinteractionmatrixandindicatesthedegreeofimportancethattwocomponentstherowandcolumncomponentstobeinthesamemodule.Thesevaluesarethenscaledtorangebetween0and10seeTable1.3.2.2.CalculationofweightedaverageAllinteractionvaluesatthelowestlevelcanbeusedcollectivelytocalculatetheweightedsumofinteractionsforanobjective.Inthehierarchyofinteractionsgeneratedintheabovesteps,alltheweightsthatrepresenttherelativeimportanceofthefactorsandtheobjectivesarenormalizedsuchthatthesummationofallbranchesfromeachnodeisequalto1.Forexample,ifthefunctionisaectedbyinteractionsintermsofenergyandmaterialexchangeonly,therelativeimportanceof,say,0.3and0.7areassignedtothesetwoaspects.Afteralllinksareevaluated,thecombinedmutualinteractionsbetweenthepartsarecalculatedby„„i,jKk/1fk„fki,jLl/1rl„rli,j,1where„„i,jistheweightedaverageinteractionforthetwocomponentsiandj,„fki,jthekthfunctionalinteractionofcomponentsiandj,„rli,jthelthobjectiveinteractionofcomponentsiandj,fkthekthfunctionalfactorweightandrlthelthobjectivefactorweight.Theresultofthisphaseisanalinteractingmatrixwhichrepresentsalltherelevantinformationformoduleclustering.3.3.Phase3moduleformationSeveralalgorithmshavebeenimplementedtoclustercomponentsintomodulessuchthattheinteractionsbetweencomponentswithinmodulesaremaximized.Thesimulatedannealingalgorithmispresentedinthispapertondtheoptimumornearoptimumsolution.Thecomponentsinthematrixareassumedtobeseparable.Iftwocomponentsarenotseparableatall,theyareconsideredasasinglecomponent.390P.Gu,S.Sosale/RoboticsandComputerIntegratedManufacturing151999387}401
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