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A Function Based Approach for Product Integration

[+] Author Affiliations
Vishwa Kalyanasundaram, Kemper Lewis

University at Buffalo - SUNY, Buffalo, NY

Paper No. DETC2011-47922, pp. 263-279; 17 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 5: 37th Design Automation Conference, Parts A and B
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5482-2
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


Reconfigurable and multifunctional products are breeds of products that cater to the increased diversification of customer needs. Unlike single-state static products which can perform only one primary function, these products cater to different customer needs by performing more than one function with or without changing their configuration. However, there is a lack of systematic methods to support the conceptual task of combining two existing single-state products into an integrated product that provides multiple functions. In this paper, a function based approach is proposed which provides more rigorous support to assess the feasibility of integrating two products. The function structures of the existing products are combined to obtain the overall function structure of the reconfigurable product. Function sharing, based on quantified functional similarity, is proposed and applied to identify functions that can be shared by the same component. The information obtained from the function structure is then mapped to the components of two existing products to analyze their roles in the final reconfigurable product architecture. A case study illustrates the proposed approach by analyzing the integration of a power drill and a dust buster.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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