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Analyzing Module Commonality for Platform Design in Functional and Physical Domain

[+] Author Affiliations
Katja Hölttä-Otto

Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo, Finland

Paper No. DETC2005-84801, pp. 383-391; 9 pages
  • ASME 2005 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5a: 17th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Long Beach, California, USA, September 24–28, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4742-X | eISBN: 0-7918-3766-1
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME


Product platforms can provide many advantages from cost savings to a large variety of products with less effort than without platforms. The key choice in modular platform design is the choice of common platform modules. We developed an algorithm to aid in this choice. The algorithm is based on calculating the distance between function inputs and outputs, in the functional domain, or component attributes, in the physical domain. Unlike other methods before, this method can identify commonalities from any or mixed degrees of decomposition and it is not limited to a single measure of commonality. In addition we analyze the degree of commonality quantitatively. The common module candidates are clustered to a hierarchical dendrogram that serves as a decision tool for the designer. It is shown how the algorithm identifies common module candidates for a family of sensors in the functional domain and for a family of micro machines in the physical domain.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME
Topics: Design



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