Title: Distributed knowledge management for product and process variety in mass customisation

Authors: M. Zhang, Y.J. Chen, M.M. Tseng

Addresses: Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management Department, HKUST, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong. ' Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management Department, HKUST, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong. ' Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management Department, HKUST, Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Abstract: Mass customisation aims at best satisfying individual customer needs with near mass production efficiency. Due to the diversity of individual customer needs, the number of possible unique product offerings can be astronomical. Meanwhile, there can be many potential production process alternatives for each unique product. The compounding effects of product and process proliferation can significantly escalate the production cost and can impose additional delays. In order to cater to diverse individual customers| requirements without adversely affecting the production cost and delivery, this paper develops a systematic approach to manage the product and process variety, based on which economies of scale can be achieved through sharing the commonalities of components, tooling, operations and expertise. The approach organises the knowledge of product variety through Generic Bills-of-Materials (GBOM) and process variety through Master Process (MP). Matching matrices are constructed to manage the relationships between them. A case study is presented to illustrate the approach.

Keywords: generic bills-of-material; generic BOM; mass customisation; master process; matching matrix; process variety; product families; product variety; distributed KM; knowledge management; customer requirements.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCAT.2005.006419

International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology, 2005 Vol.23 No.1, pp.13 - 30

Published online: 05 Mar 2005 *

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