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A Modular Product Design Approach With Key Components Consideration to Improve Sustainability

[+] Author Affiliations
Junfeng Ma, Gül E. Okudan Kremer

The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Paper No. DETC2014-35091, pp. V004T06A057; 9 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4: 19th Design for Manufacturing and the Life Cycle Conference; 8th International Conference on Micro- and Nanosystems
  • Buffalo, New York, USA, August 17–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4635-3
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


Modular product design (MPD) has attracted significant attention. The concept of sustainability has also received attention in view of the intensifying demands concerning environmental issues. Because the way a product or system is modularized can have implications on its sustainability, investigating MPD and sustainability jointly is important. To this intended joint investigation, we add the concept of a product’s key components. Mostly, product competitiveness depends strongly on a few key components; thus, we should logically design products with a concentrated consideration of their key components. However, to the best of our knowledge, only scant research addresses key components. Developing an optimal MPD method, which incorporates key components specification, is the primary motivation for this research. In this paper, we provide a sustainable modular product design approach. A graph-based clustering algorithm is offered to cluster components into modules. A module structure sustainability index (MSSI) is used to find an optimal sustainability module structure. A coffee maker case study is used to illustrate the proposed methodology.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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