Industrial evaluation of FBS Linkage – a method to support engineering change management

Bahram Hamraz*, P. John Clarkson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Engineering changes (ECs) are raised throughout the product life cycle and their management can determine the commercial success of products. A well-established method to support engineering change management (ECM) is the change prediction method (CPM). The function–behaviour–structure (FBS) linkage method enhances CPM with an FBS scheme and allows more detailed modelling and analysis of ECs. The goal of this paper is to provide an industrial evaluation of the FBS Linkage method. For that purpose, we provide first an overview of the FBS Linkage method, before applying it to a diesel engine design and evaluating it by a group of 10 experienced engineers from the diesel engine manufacturer. Overall, the engineers favoured the FBS Linkage method and ranked it on average 3.7 out of 5.0 against a set of 25 different requirements for ECM methods. The evaluation underlines the benefits of the method in terms of a systematic way for capturing, explaining and transferring knowledge about the product and effects of ECs on it. Identified improvement areas include more guidelines on the scope of the method, reduction of the effort required to build FBS Linkage models, and an integration of the method into other applied systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-47
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Engineering Design
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • change propagation
  • engineering change management
  • functional modelling
  • functional reasoning


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