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An Approach for Managing Engineering Changes in Product Families

[+] Author Affiliations
Roberto Raffaeli

Università Telematica eCampus, Novedrate, Italy

Marco Malatesta, Eugenia Marilungo, Michele Germani

Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy

Paper No. DETC2013-12562, pp. V03BT03A036; 12 pages
  • ASME 2013 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3B: 39th Design Automation Conference
  • Portland, Oregon, USA, August 4–7, 2013
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5589-8
  • Copyright © 2013 by ASME


Product development is characterized by continuous updating of existing solutions in order to cope with new market requirements. Families of product variants are used to satisfy the needs of new potential customers and penetrate new market niches.

New requirements impact on the structure of a product to be changed and also on the other instances of the family which share common parts. Several change management approaches have been proposed in the literature but they are limited to analysis of a single product instance.

This paper proposes a dependency-based change propagation approach which is able to cope with engineering changes extended to product families. The proposed tool is based on a multilevel representation of the product structure, where functions, modules and physical parts are defined and interrelated. This system allows evaluating the consequences of engineering changes introduced in the family structure and computing indices of the impact on several design for X contexts.

The tool was tested within the R&D department of a large sized company producing household appliances. Gather data are presented and analyzed to identify potentialities and shortcomings of the approach.

Copyright © 2013 by ASME



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