Research Papers

Efficient Design Module Capture and Representation for Product Family Reuse

[+] Author and Article Information
Michael Lundin

Product and Production Development,
Luleå University of Technology,
Luleå SE-971 87, Sweden
e-mail: michael.lundin@ltu.se

Erik Lejon

Gestamp R&D,
Luleå SE-973 45, Sweden
e-mail: elejon@se.gestamp.com

Andreas Dagman

Product and Production Development,
Chalmers University of Technology,
Göteborg SE-412 96, Sweden
e-mail: andreas.dagman@chalmers.se

Mats Näsström

Product and Production Development,
Luleå University of Technology,
Luleå SE-971 87, Sweden
e-mail: mats.nasstrom@ltu.se

Peter Jeppsson

Product and Production Development,
Luleå University of Technology,
Luleå SE-971 87, Sweden
e-mail: peter.jeppsson@ltu.se

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Design Engineering Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF COMPUTING AND INFORMATION SCIENCE IN ENGINEERING. Manuscript received April 21, 2015; final manuscript received December 20, 2016; published online February 16, 2017. Editor: Bahram Ravani.

J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng 17(3), 031002 (Feb 16, 2017) (16 pages) Paper No: JCISE-15-1143; doi: 10.1115/1.4035673 History: Received April 21, 2015; Revised December 20, 2016

New business models and more integrated product development processes require designers to make use of knowledge more efficiently. Capture and reuse are means of coping, but support, techniques, and mechanisms have yet to be sufficiently addressed. This paper consequently explores how computer-aided technologies (CAx) and a computer-aided design (CAD) model-oriented approach can be used to improve the efficiency of design module capture and representation for product family reuse. The first contribution of this paper is the investigation performed at a Swedish manufacturing company and a set of identified challenges related to design capture and representation for reuse in product family development. The second contribution is a demonstrated and evaluated set of systems and tools, which exemplifies how these challenges can be approached. Efficient design capture is achieved by a combination of automated and simplified design capture, derived from the design implementation (CAD model definition) to the extent possible. Different design representations can then be accessed by the designer using the CAD-internal tool interface. A web application is an example of more general-purpose representation to tailor design content, all of which is managed by a product lifecycle management (PLM) system. Design capture is based on a modular view block definition, stored in formal information models, management by a PLM system, for consistent and reliable design content. It was, however, introduced to support the rich and expressive forms of capture and representation required to facilitate understanding, use, and reuse of varied and increasingly complex designs. A key element in being able to describe a complex design and its implementation has been capture and representation of a set of design states. The solution has been demonstrated to effectively be able to capture and represent significant portions of a step-by-step design training material and the implementation of complex design module through a set of design decisions taken. The validity and relevance of the proposed solution is strengthened by the level of acceptance and perceived value from experienced users, together with the fact that the company is implementing parts of it today.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Rauniar, R. , Doll, W. , Rawski, G. , and Hong, P. , 2008, “ Shared Knowledge and Product Design Glitches in Integrated Product Development,” Int. J. Prod. Econ., 114(2), pp. 723–736. [CrossRef]
Eppinger, S. D. , Whitney, D. E. , Smith, R. P. , and Gebala, D. A. , 1994, “ A Model-Based Method for Organizing Tasks in Product Development,” Res. Eng. Des., 6(1), pp. 1–13. [CrossRef]
Krishnan, V. , Eppinger, S. D. , and Whitney, D. E. , 2011, “ Model-Based Framework to Overlap Development Activities,” Manage. Sci., 43(4), pp. 437–451. [CrossRef]
Clark, K. B. , and Fujimoto, T. , 1991, Product Development Performance, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA.
Chandrasegaran, S. K. , Ramani, K. , Sriram, R. D. , Horváth, I. , Bernard, A. , Harik, R. F. , and Gao, W. , 2013, “ The Evolution, Challenges, and Future of Knowledge Representation in Product Design Systems,” Comput.-Aided Des., 45(2), pp. 204–228. [CrossRef]
Lindström, J. , Sas, D. , Lideskog, H. , Löfstrand, M. , and Karlsson, L. , 2014, “ Defining ‘Functional Products' Through Their Constituents,” Int. J. Prod. Dev., 19(4), pp. 214–237. [CrossRef]
Lindström, J. , Löfstrand, M. , Karlberg, M. , and Karlsson, L. , 2012, “ A Development Process for Functional Products: Hardware, Software, Service Support System and Management of Operation,” Int. J. Prod. Dev., 16(3), pp. 284–303. [CrossRef]
Heisig, P. , Caldwell, N. H. M. , Grebici, K. , and Clarkson, P. J. , 2010, “ Exploring Knowledge and Information Needs From Engineering From the Past and for the Future—Results From a Survey,” Des. Stud., 31(5), pp. 499–532. [CrossRef]
Camba, J. , 2014, “ Annotation Mechanisms to Manage Design Knowledge in Complex Parametric Models and Their Effects on Alteration and Reusability,” Ph.D. thesis, Universitat Politècnica de València, Valencia, Spain.
Elgh, F. , and Cederfeldt, M. , 2005, “ A Design Automation System Supporting Design for Cost: Underlying Method, System Applicability and User Experiences,” International Conference on Concurrent Engineering: Research and Applications, Dallas, TX, pp. 619–627.
Salehi, V. , and McMahon, C. , 2011, “ Development and Application of an Integrated Approach for Parametric Associative CAD Design in an Industrial Context,” Comput.-Aided Des., 8(2), pp. 225–236.
Kim, S. , Bracewell, R. H. , and Wallace, K. M. , 2007, “ Improving Design Reuse Using Context,” International Conference of Engineering Design (ICED), Paris, France, ICED Paper No. DS42_P_501.
Lundin, M. , Lejon, E. , Dagman, A. , Näsström, M. , and Jeppsson, P. , 2014, “ An Empirical Study of Information Exchange and Design Support in Product Family Development,” ASME Paper No. DETC2014-34940.
Lejon, E. , Lundin, M. , Jeppsson, P. , and Näsström, M. , 2013, “ Integrating Information in Product Development,” CIRP LCE Conference, Singapore, pp. 93–98.
Camba, J. , Contero, M. , and Herranz-Salvador, G. , 2014, “ Implementation Challenges of Annotated 3D Models in Collaborative Design Environments,” Coop. Des., Visualization, Eng.: Lect. Notes Comput. Sci., 8683, pp. 222–229.
Nergård, H. , and Larsson, T. , 2009, “ Challenges for Experience Feedback in Engineering Design,” ASME Paper No. DETC2009-87305.
Bracewell, R. , Wallace, K. , Moss, M. , and Knott, D. , 2009, “ Capturing Design Rationale,” Comput.-Aided Des., 41(3), pp. 173–186. [CrossRef]
Bergmann, R. , 2002, Experience Management: Foundations, Development Methodology, and Internet-Based Applications, Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
Shum, S. J. B. , Selvin, A. M. , Sierhuis, M. , Conklin, J. , Haley, C. B. , and Nuseibeh, B. , 2006, “ Hypermedia Support for Argumentation-Based Rationale: 15 Years on From gIBIS and QOC,” Rationale Management in Software Engineering, Springer-Verlag, Berlin, pp. 111–132.
Szykman, S. , Sriram, R. D. , and Regli, W. C. , 2001, “ The Role of Knowledge in Next-generation Product Development Systems,” ASME J. Comput. Inf. Sci. Eng., 1(1), pp. 3–11. [CrossRef]
Bracewell, R. H. , and Wallace, K. M. , 2003, “ A Tool for Capturing Design Rationale,” International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED), Stockholm, Sweden, ICED Paper no. DS31_1437FPB.
Aurisicchio, M. , and Bracewell, R. H. , 2013, “ Capturing an Integrated Design Information Space With a Diagram Based Approach,” J. Eng. Des., 24(6), pp. 397–428. [CrossRef]
McMahon, C. A. , and Davies, D. , 2006, “ The Use of Annotation in Design Representation,” Engineering Design in Integrated Product Development, Zielona Gora, Poland, pp. 105–111.
Ding, L. , Davies, D. , and McMahon, C. A. , 2009, “ The Integration of Lightweight Representation and Annotation for Collaborative Design Representation,” Res. Eng. Des., 20(3), pp. 185–200. [CrossRef]
Ding, L. , Matthews, J. , and Mullineux, G. , 2011, “ Capturing Constraint Evolution: A Technique to Preserve and Handle Design Knowledge,” Int. J. Prod. Dev., 15(1/2/3), pp. 135–155. [CrossRef]
Li, C. L. , McMahon, C. , and Newnes, L. , 2013, “ Supporting Multiple Engineering Viewpoints in Computer-Aided Design Using Ontology-Based Annotations,” International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED), Seoul, South Korea, pp. 249–258.
Sandberg, S. , and Näsström, M. , 2007, “ A Proposed Method to Preserve Knowledge and Information by Use of Knowledge Enabled Engineering,” ASME Paper No. DETC2007-35188.
Hisarciklilar, O. , and Boujut, J.-F. , 2007, “ An Annotation Based-Approach to Support Design Communication,” International Conference of Engineering Design (ICED), Paris, France, ICED Paper No. DS42_P_393.
Hisarciklilar, O. , and Boujut, J.-F. , 2009, “ A Speech Act Theory-Based Information Model to Support Design Communication Through Annotations,” Comput. Ind., 60(7), pp. 510–519. [CrossRef]
Elgh, F. , and Poorkiany, M. , 2012, “ Supporting Traceability of Design Rationale in an Automated Engineering-to-Order Business Model,” 12th International Design Conference, Dubrovnik, Croatia, pp. 1425–1434.
Johansson, J. , Poorkiany, M. , and Elgh, F. , 2014, “ Design Rationale Management—A Proposed Cloud Solution,” Adv. Transdiscip. Eng., 1, pp. 204–214.
Siltanen, P. , and Valli, S. , 2013, “ Web-Based 3D Mediated Communication in Manufacturing Industry,” Concurrent Engineering Approaches for Sustainable Product Development, Springer, London, pp. 1181–1192.
Bertoni, M. , Bertoni, A. , Broeze, H. , Dubourg, G. , and Sandhurst, C. , 2014, “ Using 3D CAD Models for Value Visualization: An Approach With SIEMENS NX HD3D Visual Reporting,” Comput.-Aided Des. Appl., 11(3), pp. 284–294.
Lee, J. , and Lai, K.-Y. , 1991, “ What's in Design Rationale?,” Hum.-Comput. Interact., 6(3), pp. 251–280. [CrossRef]
Iyer, G. R. , and Mills, J. J. , 2006, “ Design Intent in 2D CAD: Definition and Survey,” Comput.-Aided Des. Appl., 3(1–4), pp. 259–267.
Blessing, L. T. M. , and Chakrabarti, A. , 2009, DRM, a Design Research Methodology, Springer, London.
Yin, R. K. , 2009, Case Study Research: Design and Methods, 4th ed., Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA.
Bell, J. , 2005, Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First-Time Researchers in Education, Health and Social Science, Open University Press, Maidenhead, Berkshire, UK.
Miles, M. B. , and Huberman, A. M. , 1994, Qualitative Data Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook, 2nd ed., Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, CA.
Eckert, C. , Clarkson, P. J. , and Stacey, M. , 2004, “ The Lure of the Measurable in Design Research,” International Design Conference (ICED), Dubrovnik, Croatia, pp. 21–26.
Buur, J. , 1990, “ A Theoretical Approach to Mechatronics Design,” Ph.D. thesis, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark.
Jiao, J. , Simpson, T. W. , and Siddique, Z. , 2007, “ Product Family Design and Platform-Based Product Development: A State-of-the-Art Review,” J. Intell. Manuf., 18(1), pp. 5–29. [CrossRef]
Busby, J. S. , 1999, “ The Problem With Design Reuse: An Investigation Into Outcomes and Antecedents,” J. Eng. Des., 10(3), pp. 277–296. [CrossRef]
Elgh, F. , and Cederfeldt, M. , 2010, “ Documentation and Management of Product Knowledge in Systems for Automated Variant Design: A Case Study,” 17th ISPE International Conference on Concurrent Engineering, Cracow, Poland, pp. 237–245.
MOKA Consortium, 2001, Managing Engineering Knowledge, MOKA: Methodology for Knowledge Based Engineering Applications, M. Stokes , ed., Professional Engineering and Publishing Limited, London.
Jarratt, T. A. W. , Eckert, C. M. , and Clarkson, P. J. , 2004, “ The Benefits of Predicting Change in Complex Products: Application Areas of a DSM-Based Prediction Tool,” International Design Conference, Dubrovnik, Croatia, pp. 303–308.


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Comparing standard features and user-defined features in terms of dependencies and parametric control

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

An overview of the two types of design modules used at the company and how their characteristics impact use

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Product family development process, highlighting process stages, activities, repositories, and deliverables

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

The relative dependency between the level of built-in design module complexity (left-vertical), the number of design modules (bottom-horizontal), product-family-internal reuse (left-vertical), and product-family-external reuse (top-horizontal). The diagonal line, which effectively also represents the relative document distribution, is used to map one axis value to the others.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

Reuse space in terms of degree of completeness and level of abstraction

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

A graph depicting reuse practice. Effective and efficient reuse practice could be argued to be where the hypothetical reuse curve, as a result of invested reuse efforts, exceeds the break-even line (return/investment = 1).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

A graph depicting reuse practice. Introduced support should ideally minimize the investments required in order to ensure effective and efficient downstream reuse. It should at the same time serve to maximize the reuse return from efforts made and effectively raise the curve (support).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

An overview of different views (representations) that can be generated based on captured and managed design content

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

Principal implementation of demonstrated solution

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 10

The CAD-internal toolbox for efficient design capture and representation, here representing a simple set of blend operations with associated design content

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 11

The CAD-internal toolbox representing a captured instruction step, in this case, how to constrain parts of a sketch

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 12

A set of design steps generated by the web application, from PLM-managed design content. The complete set of instructions captured (left) and an extraction of the top portion (right).

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 13

The CAD-internal toolbox for efficient design capture and representation, here a step in the design module implementation



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In