Resource: Project Report: Applying and Validating an Integrated Modular Design Methodology toward Product Upgrading and Re-Use
This feasibility study applies and validates an integrated modular design methodology toward product upgrading and reuse. By Dr. Xiu-Tian Yan and Mr. Wendan Wang of Department of Design, Manufacture and Engineering Management, University of Strathclyde
Thursday, 30th July 2009
- The proposed modular design methodology is valid and handy for product modularization, and can extend the existing products’ life by upgrading and reusing the identified modules. This operation would be even easier if more modular design considerations had been taken into account during their initial design stage. The benefits from the application of proposed methodology could probably be more obvious for those products with more primitive building elements such as Divex product. In contrast, for the simpler products with a few primitive elements it is less effective at the component level.
- All the potential modules are disclosed by introducing the module strength indicator. This is crucial as it provides more options for designers to make their own decisions subject to different design specifications. However identifying each module from one particular viewpoint might not be accurate as the relations from the different viewpoints of the product might be ignored.
- The rationalization of the dependencies is crucial for getting accurate results in Design Structure Matrix (DSM) analysis. Even the dependencies were known for this study before input, there was still deviation from this that produced inaccurate results. This remains to be a future area for improvements for the GeMoCURE approach. It is also important to choose which dependencies are actually suitable to include in the DSM. This is a subjective exercise which requires an involvement from the whole project staff in each company to ensure wider range of opinions available.
- Along with the detailed information on the product, more market information should also be a part of the application of product modular design. These might include the availability of the modules and the cost. Therefore it might be necessary to collate the information from different departments before determining the modules. This is also applicable during the construction of the functional structure of the generic product. Then variety of products to be developed then could meet the market tendency.
- Develop the algorithm to identify the cross-viewpoint modules from the cross-viewpoint DSM where the concepts of one viewpoint horizontally on the matrix against the concepts of the other viewpoint vertically, especially including design for upgrade
- Investigate how to improve the product design by the modularization at the level of design features and design parameters etc. This is aimed to improve the pump design.
- Develop the software which integrates each modular design step, and can provide the friendly human-machine interface and results interpretations.
- Apply and popularize the software in other companies, and aim to be an effective product design for upgrade aid tool.
- One conference paper is being prepared for publication on the related work.
- Write a news article to the Eureka or similar industry oriented magazine to disseminate the results of the feasibility project.
- Also prepare papers to disseminate the results in academic journals.
- Continue to work with Divex, and new companies such as Clyde Pumps Ltd and McVites to explore and apply the approach to increase the impact and benefits to the companies.
- Develop further research projects for EPSRC and other funding councils for more complex systems upgrade and reuse
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