Using Product and Manufacturing System Platforms to Generate Producible Product Variants

J. Landahl, C. Levandowski, H. Johannesson, R. Söderberg, K. Wärmefjord, J.S. Carlson, J. Kressin, O. Isaksson, J. Vallhagen. 6th CIRP Conference on Assembly Technologies and Systems (CATS), Procedia CIRP, Volume 44, 2016, Pages 61–66.


Product platforms have proven efficient as a means to reduce lead-time and increase product quality simultaneously. When using platforms to generate a family of products, the number of variants that need to be managed in manufacturing increases. To succeed with this, the manufacturing system needs to be maintained in a similar level of flexibility as the product platform. However, there is seldom a joint decision behind each and every conceptual product variant during development, regarding capability in manufacturing. For example, when considering producibility, some product variants require better tolerances than what the manufacturing processes can deliver. This uncertainty can be reduced, by making producibility analyses of a set of conceptual product variants. By performing several different analyses, knowledge can be gained, and joint decisions can be made about cross product-manufacturing aspects. The activities can be systematically arranged to gradually eliminate unfeasible conceptual product variants. In this paper we show how an integrated PLM architecture can be used to create sufficient knowledge as a basis for joint product and manufacturing decisions. The utmost company benefit of this is to reduce lead-time by taking manufacturing capability into account when developing product families.

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