Journal of Advanced Mechanical Design, Systems, and Manufacturing
Online ISSN : 1881-3054
ISSN-L : 1881-3054
Case study of extended product architecture design for modularization reflecting customer needs of industrial robots
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2017 Volume 11 Issue 4 Pages JAMDSM0050


This paper presents a case study of product architecture design for industrial robots, which extends the scope of conventional product architecture. Industrial robots are required to meet a wide range of customer needs depending on the end-use environment. While modularization with various options can effectively meet customer needs, the selection of options is often planned in a haphazard way, which may cause consumer confusion and result in non-optimal solutions. This research attempts to solve this issue by refining product architecture design with consideration of not only relationships between physical functions and entity structure, but also their relationships to customer needs. This study uses design structure matrixes (DSM) which represent the interactions between these three aspects (i.e. customer needs, physical functions, and entity structure), and domain mapping matrixes (DMM) which integrate the three DSMs. A function to evaluate the rationality and integrity of the module architecture is formulated with those DSMs and DMMs. A simulated annealing-based method is then used to explore optimal modular architectures. The case study shows that an industrial robot can be modularized to reflect customer needs, including those related to maintenance and productivity.

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© 2017 by The Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers
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