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A Comparison of Modular Product Design Methods Based on Improvement and Iteration

[+] Author Affiliations
Fang Guo, John K. Gershenson

Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI

Paper No. DETC2004-57396, pp. 261-269; 9 pages
  • ASME 2004 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3a: 16th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, September 28–October 2, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4696-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-3742-4
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


Modular product design methods enable the redesign of complex products to improve overall product. Different modular design methods exist in the literature, but they have yet to be compared quantitatively. This paper defines a modular design method with the “best” performance based on the comparison of four representative methods. Our hypothesis for the comparison was that, for the same initial design and same measure, a method that generates more modular products more efficiently than those generated by other modular design methods is the best one among the methods. Four representative modular design methods were implemented, combined with a common modularity measure, and used to redesign four different products. Analysis of the redesign results showed that Zhang and Gershenson’s method could consistently achieve greater modularity improvements faster. Particular facets of some methods were further analyzed for possible improvement and combination to create a new, better method for application.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME
Topics: Product design



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