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An Approach to Product Family Planning Based on Hypergraph Theory

[+] Author Affiliations
Hong-Jun Wang

South China Agricultural University

Xin Chen, De-Tao Zheng

Guangdong University of Technology

Paper No. IMECE2004-59321, pp. 7-12; 6 pages
  • ASME 2004 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Computers and Information in Engineering
  • Anaheim, California, USA, November 13 – 19, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4704-7 | eISBN: 0-7918-4178-2, 0-7918-4179-0, 0-7918-4180-4
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


A widespread method employed in product planning is to use quality function deployment (QFD), which provides a means of translating a single customer’s needs into a product’s design requirements. Whereas, mass customization oriented product family planning should translate a group of different customers’ needs into all kinds of engineering characteristics in a product family life cycle by mapping the complicated information between adjacent stages of a product family development cycle so that the customer group’s needs can be carried out in a product family, which needs to develop a batch of products at the same time. Unfortunately, there is lack of a tool to supporting the product family planning at present. Aiming at this problem, this paper proposes a new approach to extend the house of quality (HoQ) in order to fulfill the product family planning for mass customization. Firstly, hypergraph (HG) theory and QFD are brought together, and the processes of information mapping between the adjacent stages of a product family development cycle are described through a relational hypergraph (RH). Secondly, primary-input driven paths in a relational hypergraph, which represent the different information at the same domain in a HoQ, are placed on the left or at the bottom of a HoQ, and secondary-input paths in a relational hypergraph, which represent the different information at the adjacent domain in a HoQ, are placed at the middle array of a HoQ, an extended HoQ (EHoQ) is obtained according to the method described as above, which provides the tool of planning a batch of products at the same time. Finally, the process of translating a group of different customer group’s needs into engineering characteristics is illustrated by means of an EHoQ.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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