Year: 1998
Editor: Marcel Tichem, Delft University of Technology, Mogens Myrup Andreasen, Technical University of Denmark, Alex Duffy, University of Strathclyde
Author: Tiihonen, Juha; Lehtonen, Timo; Soininen, Timo; Puikkinen, Antti; Sulonen, Reijo; Riitahuhta, Asko
Page(s): 29 - 50


This paper presents a method for managing and modelling a product family as a configurable product. The method enables efficient management of a large number of product variants. The modeling is based on a recently proposed conceptualization of configuration domain, which is a synthesis and extension of the main approaches to configuration. The concepts of the conceptualization are components, attributes, resources, ports, contexts, functions and constraints. In addition to discussing the concepts, we give guidelines on using them. The conceptualization was evaluated through a case study of modelling rock drilling equipment. The conceptualization matched the modeling needs in the case product. Some improvements to the conceptualization are proposed on the basis of the case study. The guidelines should also be extended and refined. Information technology support for modelling was found to be necessary for full-scale use of the conceptualization. The conceptualization is primarily intended for representing configuration models. However, we present some possibilities for utilizing the conceptualization in the product development process.

Keywords: Product configuration, product variation, product mode ling, conceptual analysis, case study


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