International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management (11 papers in press)
Special Issue on: Lifecycle Management of Product-Service Systems and Smart Products
by Claudio Sassanelli, Giuditta Pezzotta, Fabiana Pirola, Roberto Sala, Antonio Margarito, Mariangela Lazoi, Angelo Corallo, Monica Rossi, Sergio Terzi
Abstract: In the recent years, Product Service Systems (PSSs) and smart products are surging in the market and acquiring a strategic role for companies survival. Their relevance is constantly pushed by technological progress, increased customers demand for always different functionalities and manufacturers need for improving their position on the market. Manufacturers, compelled towards the transformation process into PSS providers, have to face the challenge of building up knowledge for successfully providing such complex solutions, also resorting to the help of more effective IT systems and tools. The need to adopt a collaborative design platform, typically used in product engineering processes, is starting to be raised also in the PSS context, since manufacturing companies often have a lack of knowledge for providing PSS. This work, grounded on a combination of Lean and DfX-based theories, is aimed at contributing to improve the knowledge formalization and sharing with the support of IT tools. In this sense, a tool able to manage PSS design knowledge, the Lean Content Design Guidelines and Rules generated and referring to the Design for Product Service Supportability (DfPSSu) approach, is proposed. Finally, to fully exploit design knowledge through a structured engineering workflow, the Lean Design Rules tool (LDRT) is integrated in a more holistic engineering environment able to interact with Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems.
Keywords: Product Service System; PSS; PSS design; Design for X; DfX; Knowledge Management; Lifecycle Management; Lean Design; DfX tool.
Towards a method compendium for the development of digitized products - findings from a case study
by Manuel Holler, Matthias Herterich, Christian Dremel, Falk Uebernickel, Walter Brenner
Abstract: The pervasive infiltration of digital technology into physical products brings both tremendous challenges and opportunities to original equipment manufacturers. With the goal to support the initial stages of the product lifecycle, this article introduces a method compendium for the development of digitized products. More precisely, the compendium suggests (1) customer- and user-centric innovation methods, (2) agile and prototyping methods, (3) system and architecture modelling methods, (4) feedback- and data-driven methods, and (5) service and business modelling methods. Methodically, we draw on secondary data from a longitudinal single-case study scrutinizing the development of digitized trucks at a leading materials handling and intralogistics organization. Bounded to the business-to-business context of industrial equipment manufacturing, we enrich product lifecycle management with methodological contributions valuable for academia and practice alike.
Keywords: product development; product design; method; methodology; digitized product; smart product; case study;.
Mobile apps for providing Product-Service Systems and retrieving feedback throughout their lifecycle: A robotics use case
by Dimitris Mourtzis, Ekaterini Vlachou, Vasilios Zogopoulos
Abstract: In an era when the usage of mobile devices is expanding, it is important for product services to also follow this path. The connectivity and the fast and seamless data exchange supported by modern networks allows companies to come closer to their customers and provide a set of product services that improve product experience and provide meaningful feedback throughout products lifecycle. Towards that direction, this research work presents the combined use of an Augmented Reality maintenance support service and a product service feedback gathering mobile application connected through a cloud database. A Product Lifecycle Management tool is also used to store and analyze the data from the feedback tool. The developed apps aim to support manufacturing companies to provide added value solutions and evaluate them also during their lifecycle. The developed system is validated in a case study from the robotics industry.
Keywords: Product- Service Systems; mobile applications; design; customer feedback gathering; remote maintenance; robotics industry.
Changing information management for product-service system engineering: customer-oriented strategies and lessons learned
by Alexander Smirnov, Nikolay Shilov, Andreas Oroszi, Mario Sinko, Thorsten Krebs
Abstract: Modern markets force companies to implement new production and marketing paradigms. Companies striving for attracting and retaining customers see service provision as a new path towards profits and growth. However, efficient management of product life cycle for such solutions requires significant changes both in business processes and in information systems. The paper investigates the problem of product-service system engineering information management in a customer-oriented way and the way it has been solved. It shares the vision of the authors of the required improvements in business processes and information systems at the considered company related to life cycle management for product-service system configurations. Though the research results are based on the analysis of one company, the presented work can give significant input to achieve benefits for component manufacturers that tend to become system vendors in general.
Keywords: product-service system; customer view; application view; information management; business process; information system.
Simulated Dynamic Finite-Element Experiments and Automatic Assembly Synthesis for Mechanical Design Automation
by Iraklis Chatziparasidis, Dimitrios Giagopoulos, Nickolas S. Sapidis
Abstract: Engineering-To-Order (ETO) companies encounter two major issues that greatly affect the cost and the quality of their products. The first is that they are often requested to provide their customers with products that exceed a companys previous experience. Since previous-experience design rules are not adequate for the new configuration requirements, these companies are usually proceeding with experimental tests, using full scale prototypes, to check the structural integrity of a proposed design. The second issue is the time required for the product to be designed and engineered, and for manufacturing drawings to be published and launched to the shop floor. In most cases, these companies have a number of premade drawings and modify them to adjust the product to the new customer requirements. Unfortunately, this method is prone to human errors, and these errors may create extra remanufacturing costs. In this work, we present a framework that addresses both of these issues. We present: a) a method that uses Finite-Element (FE) models and simulated dynamic experiments to deduct new design rules, instead of performing experiments with full scale prototypes, and b) a CAD system based on the Automatic Assembly Synthesis Model (AASM) that automatically synthesizes the final 3D Assembly CAD model. The present framework also contains a specific methodology for validating finite element models regarding accuracy for simulated dynamic analysis. Using this framework, a companys design rules can be enriched by simulated experiments, expanding this companys Knowledge Based Engineering (KBE) system.
Keywords: Finite Element Modelling; Simulated Dynamic Experiments; Design Automation; Automatic Assembly Synthesis; Assembly Features; Assembly Model.
Value Creation for Lifecycle Based Product Development through the Sustainable Half-Life Return Model
by K. Daniel Seevers, Fazleena Badurdeen, I.S. Jawahir
Abstract: When it comes to new product development, many organizations struggle to create a value proposition and key performance indicators that can overcome the headwinds of technology change, regulatory requirements, and intense competition, while satisfying the longer term goals of sustainability. Current product development business models focus on financial return on investment, in the form of a narrow definition of the time value of money. This often leads to the lost portfolio value and the lack of visibility to sunk costs over the entire product lifecycle. By integrating key performances indicators of the product lifecycle into the development process, sustainable value creation models can be developed.
This paper presents a value creation framework for three dependent stakeholders (consumers, producers and socio-environment) through the creation of the Sustainable Products Value Proposition and the Half-Life Return Models. These models integrate the time value of resources into the product delivery process, and show that shareholder value can be enhanced by improving the product design process and extend the life of product platforms. By introducing product lifetime value relative to related development metrics, the Sustainable Products Half-Life Return Model is established and used to provide the engineering team a more accurate measure of the return on investment over an extended period of time. The Sustainable Products Value Proposition expands the definition of total cost of ownership for all stakeholders in an effort to improve the creation of sustainable lifetime value.
Keywords: Sustainable Value Creation; Product Design; Product Half Life.
Special Issue on: PLM for Manufacturing in the Aerospace Industry
Automatic Expert Knowledge Acquisition From Text For Closing The Knowledge Loop in PLM
by Madhusudanan N, B. Gurumoorthy, Amaresh Chakrabarti
Abstract: Expert knowledge is important for any products lifecycle, especially during the manufacturing part of the lifecycle. Most of such knowledge is obtained through experience and its reuse can help prevent potential issues in subsequent product development. Extracting the knowledge acquired for reuse in subsequent development closes the knowledge loop within a products lifecycle. This work is aimed at acquiring expert knowledge from text documents, about problems faced in aircraft assembly. For doing so, a method is proposed, and is implemented using a pipeline of natural language processing tools. Though existing tools have been used, domain related studies and subsequent modifications have been shown to be necessary. An implementation of the proposed method is also developed and evaluated. Future directions for expanding the work have also been discussed.
Keywords: knowledge acquisition; aircraft assembly; natural language processing; sentiment analysis.
Contextualizing Manufacturing Data for Lifecycle Decision Making
by William Z. Bernstein, Thomas D. Hedberg, Jr., Moneer Helu, Allison Barnard Feeney
Abstract: Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems manage the flow of data about the product and the processes that are used throughout the product's lifecycle so that the right information is delivered at the right time to the right systems. Manufacturing in the aerospace and other industries provides a rich source of data about the product and processes, but there is a lack of standardized infrastructure to richly represent this data and place it into the appropriate context to generate useful knowledge. Recent advances enable data from manufacturing systems to be captured and contextualized relative to other phases of the product lifecycle, a necessary step toward understanding system behavior and satisfying traceability requirements. Significant challenges remain for integrating information across the lifecycle and enabling efficient and effective decision-making. In this paper, we explore opportunities for mapping standard data representations, such as the Standard for the Exchange of Product Data (STEP), MTConnect, and the Quality Information Framework (QIF) to integrate the information silos that exist across the product lifecycle. To demonstrate this vision, we describe a reference implementation with a contract manufacturer in the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Smart Manufacturing Systems Test Bed. Using this implementation, we explore how knowledge generated from manufacturing data can be used to support lifecycle decision-making in the aerospace industry. We then present a case study of an interactive prototype that correlates a subset of the Test Bed's available data based on the context that must be provided for a specific decision-making viewpoint.
Keywords: Digital Thread; Knowledge Management; Product Lifecycle; Smart Manufacturing;.
A Structured Approach to Defect Data Management for Improving DFM Implementation in Aerospace Manufacturing
by Mohammed El Souri, James Gao, Oladele Owodunni, Clive Simmonds, Nick Martin
Abstract: The aim of adopting Product Lifecycle Management in a highly product centric knowledge environment is to reduce product development time and costs whilst improving quality through integrating people, processes, resources and information effectively. In the aerospace industry, most products and systems are manufactured, delivered to customers and serviced over an extensively long time, typically 20 years or more. This results in the build-up of large amounts of dispersed data and information related to defects throughout the different products lifecycle stages, hence inhibiting the ability to make effective use of defect data to improve design for manufacturing (DFM) implementation. There have been very limited research efforts aiming to overcome these challenges in the low volume high value aerospace manufacturing context. This paper presents the findings of an extensive industrial investigation carried out at BAE Systems (Rochester, UK) to identify the gaps and requirements in the industrial practice and proposes the need for a structured approach to defect data management in order to establish the systematic link between the defects, engineering data, and related issues within PLM System context.
Keywords: knowledge management; product lifecycle management; design for manufacturing.
PLM forensics: understanding the design evolution and intent by following the trail of change
by Aleksander Przybylo
Abstract: PLM systems tend to focus on the management of the latest and greatest version of the engineering design, offering very little insight into how the design evolved over time as each new configuration is released. This kind of knowledge is crucial to enable reuse of existing data and avoid reinventing the wheel at each new iteration. Understanding the history of change is required all across the value stream. A manufacturing engineer needs to understand what changed in the design and which portions of the manufacturing plan require change versus which can remain the same. Finance needs to understand what changed in order to forecast the cost of the new design. Certifying a new variant of a product requires detailed description of what changed since the last certified one. The list goes on and on. This paper will show a methodology for finding the previous evolutions of the data, storing them in a logical structure and presenting them in an easy to navigate form. Generally, the data needed to find the evolution path is available but requires very intensive, manual investigation and forces the user to navigate obscure menus, properties and windows within the user interface. On top of finding the history, the paper will also show how it can be communicated to the user in a more intuitive way. Also the paper will show how, once the history is retrieved, it can be stored more efficiently so that there is no need to redo the same investigations over and over again.
Keywords: Configuration management; change management; product structure; user interface; product lifecycle management; plm.
A Framework to Support Collaboration during Prototyping and Testing
by Boris Toche, Grant McSorley, Robert Pellerin, Clement Fortin
Abstract: The modern perspective on product lifecycle and the rapid evolution of information and communication technologies have opened a new era in product development and information sharing throughout the product life. The product development process relies on cross-functional activities involving different domains of expertise using specialised tools. However, current PLM technologies in general are not able to manage well the cross-functional activities and their configuration management is often left to asynchronous operations carried out with decoupled independent applications, which result in hand-offs, scatter, errors, delays, extra costs and waste. Within the product development process, the testing team is responsible for the planning and building of prototypes in order to test products. In this paper, the characteristics of product lifecycle related information are investigated, with a focus on prototyping and testing aspects. A framework based on complementary product structures is developed, along with an illustrative case study, to demonstrate how results from testing activities can efficiently interface with other value streams, offer relevant feedback to product designers, and maintain the detailed product configuration as the design evolves in a concurrent engineering environment.
Keywords: product lifecycle management; PLM; collaborative engineering; concurrent engineering; physical prototyping; virtual prototyping; digital mock-up; DMU; bill of materials; BOM; product structure; product testing; change management; configuration management; aerospace engineering.