Research Papers

Simulations Based on Product-Usage Information From Connected Products to Support Redesign for Improved Performance: Exploration of Practical Application to Domestic Fridge-Freezers

[+] Author and Article Information
Wilhelm Frederik van der Vegte

Delft University of Technology,
Delft 2600AA, The Netherlands;
Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering,
Landbergstraat 15,
Delft 2628 CE, The Netherlands
e-mail: w.f.vandervegte@tudelft.nl

Fatih Kurt, Oğuz Kerem Şengöz

Arçelik A.Ş.,
Istanbul 34445, Turkey

Contributed by the Computers and Information Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF COMPUTING AND INFORMATION SCIENCE IN ENGINEERING. Manuscript received September 14, 2018; final manuscript received January 10, 2019; published online March 18, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Yan Wang.

J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng 19(3), 031003 (Mar 18, 2019) (11 pages) Paper No: JCISE-18-1241; doi: 10.1115/1.4042537 History: Received September 14, 2018; Revised January 10, 2019

The real-life use of a product is often hard to foresee during its development. Fortunately, today's connective products offer the opportunity to collect information about user actions, which enables companies to investigate the actual use for the benefit of next-generation products. A promising application opportunity is to input the information to engineering simulations and increase their realism to (i) reveal how use-related phenomena influence product performance and (ii) to evaluate design variations on how they succeed in coping with real users and their behaviors. In this article, we explore time-stamped usage data from connected fridge-freezers by investigating energy losses caused by door openings and by evaluating control-related design variations aimed at mitigating these effects. By using a fast-executing simulation setup, we could simulate much faster than real time and investigate usage over a longer time. We showed that a simple, single-cycle load pattern based on aggregated input data can be simulated even faster but only produce rough estimates of the outcomes. Our model was devised to explore application potential rather than producing the most accurate predictions. Subject to this reservation, our outcomes indicate that door openings do not affect energy consumption as much as some literature suggests. Through what-if studies we could evaluate three design variations and nevertheless point out that particular solution elements resulted in more energy-efficient ways of dealing with door openings. Based on our findings, we discuss possible impacts on product design practice for companies seeking to collect and exploit usage data from connected products in combination with simulations.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Filling the gap between virtual-user input and real-user real-time input (arrow depicts increasing realism)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Statistics of collected and selected fridge-freezer data

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Fridge-freezer simulation mode

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Simulation output with annotations

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Overview of simulation outcomes (freezer compartment)



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