Extended Generic Product Structure: An Information Model for Representing Product Families

[+] Author and Article Information
Sean Callahan

Boeing Phantom Workssean.callahan@boeing.com

When a design configuration will only be used once as a component of each variation of a design, but on no other designs, then it may be defined as an in-place definition configuration. This is a simpler alternative to creating a reusable design and a usage of that design.

The system structure has sometimes been called the physical design by the systems engineering community, because it is more physical than the functional design. Others call the geometric design the physical design. That is why we avoid naming a physical domain.

An example of data that are in their final form in the System Domain is the data that capture the location of software modules in the system and track the exchange of variables between them. Therefore, such objects would have no mapping to the Geometric Domain.

A class relationship is formally modeled as a relationship between the definitions of the two classes. (See Appendix .)

Not all system ports represent a requirement for a physical connector. That status could be specified by a specific port attribute. Such a port would represent, instead, the externalization of an internal port.

This is a shorthand for the four relationships whose names begin with Component and end with a digit in the range 1–4.

We will omit the term object when it is clear from the context that we are talking about an instance and not the class definition, itself.

The term “component” is used here to refer to either an in-place definition or a usage.

J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng 6(3), 263-275 (May 01, 2006) (13 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2218361 History: Received May 14, 2004; Revised May 01, 2006

An information model is presented that supports sharing of design definition data between the designs of completely configured variants within a product family. Design data sharing is supported across many levels of a design’s product structure hierarchy: A change in one subassembly component does not force the whole subassembly to be duplicated. This is achieved for completely configured models and does not require the use of effectivity or any other filtering mechanism. The key is recognizing a product structure architecture that acts as a template for product variants, maximizing data sharing between them. This approach is applied to many distinct product structure abstractions, including the geometric design and the logical systems design of a product. It is extended to include secondary product structure data such as interface connection points (e.g., ports) and connectivity information, which may involve connections between ports or the mapping from the logical systems design to the geometric design that implements it. This model achieves data scalability for hierarchical product structures, meaning that when adding a new product variant, the amount of new data that must be added is proportional to the amount of design change required for the new variant times the logarithm of the total system size (this logarithm is taken to the base of the branching factor of the product structure tree).

Copyright © 2006 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

First design of the SixBrick assembly

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Figure 2

Second design for the SixBrick assembly

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Figure 3

Two SixBrick assemblies; one with a spy hole, one without

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Figure 4

Adding a configuration

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Figure 5

Adding a lightweight copy

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Figure 6

Two variants are completed

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Figure 8

Generator with ports

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Figure 9

Multivariant generator with ports

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Figure 11

Single variant components

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Figure 12

Two generator system configuration projections

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Figure 14

Complete engine system

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Figure 15

Single variant projections of E-2

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Figure 16

Extended generic product structure data model




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