Design of product architectures in incrementally developed complex products

David F. Wyatt*, Claudia M. Eckert, P. John Clarkson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper seeks to understand how product architecture arises and influences the design process, using a case study of a UK-based diesel engine manufacturer. Product architecture is defined as a combination of functional and physical structure, including definitions of interfaces between components and spatial layout, at the overall product level. In the case study the minimisation of novelty was observed to be a major factor, causing the majority of the function structure and function-to-component mapping to be carried over from previous engines. New technologies are selected at an early stage without being integrated into complete engine concepts. Architecture-level decisions are then made implicitly when carrying over elements from previous products and when cascading product requirements to the component level. Elements of product architecture continue to be defined over much of the New Product Introduction (NPI) process, countering the expectation that product architecture should be defined during early design. These results suggest that support for product architecture design should take account of its incremental and extended nature.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDS 58-4
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design
Pages167-178
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event17th International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED 09 - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: 24 Aug 200927 Aug 2009

Publication series

NameDS 58-4: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design

Conference

Conference17th International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED 09
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA
Period24/08/0927/08/09

Keywords

  • Case study
  • Complex product
  • Diesel engine
  • Product architecture
  • Systems engineering

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