Title: A constraint-based product configurator for mass customisation

Authors: Helen Xie, Philip Henderson, Michael Kernahan

Addresses: National Research Council Canada, 800 Collip Circle, London, Ontario, Canada N6G 4X8. ' National Research Council Canada, 800 Collip Circle, London, Ontario, Canada N6G 4X8. ' National Research Council Canada, 800 Collip Circle, London, Ontario, Canada N6G 4X8

Abstract: To stay competitive, many manufacturers have to adapt their business models to mass customisation, which enables customers to order customised products tailored to their specific needs. One of the key enabling technologies for the successful implementation of mass customisation is the product configurator, a software tool that automatically generates the customised product designs based on the customer requirements and design constraints. A constraint-based product configurator has advantages of flexibility and generality in product modelling and problem solving. Its ability to deal with discrete constraints has been well studied. However, the requirement for handling numeric constraints expressed as mathematical formulas posts a new challenge. This paper proposes a constraint model for n-ary numeric constraints and effective search algorithms. It also presents a system design approach on modelling domain-specific product knowledge, integrating the domain-specific product models into generic search algorithms and presenting configuration results to the end users.

Keywords: product configuration; constraint satisfaction problem; CSP; mass customisation; distributed manufacturing.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCAT.2006.010085

International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology, 2006 Vol.26 No.1/2, pp.91 - 98

Available online: 16 Jun 2006 *

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