Title: Modular platform design using mechanical bus architectures

Authors: Matthew A. Slevinsky, Peihua Gu

Addresses: Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada. ' Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, T2N 1N4, Canada

Abstract: Modular products consist of detachable modules that can be manufactured, assembled, and serviced separately and may be reusable, recyclable, or remanufacturable upon product retirement. Platform-based products exploit commonalities between different products, often using modules to achieve these goals. In such products, the connections between modules must be designed to facilitate operations for parallel manufacturing, assembly as well as post product life activities. This paper presents the Mechanical Bus (MechBus) as a new concept for facilitating platform based product design. Core characteristics and features of platforms have been identified, and the Mechanical Bus design method has been chosen as a means of achieving these goals. A design method, with a supporting software implementation, for product platform design using Mechanical Buses has also been developed. Examples and a case study will be included to illustrate the Mechanical Bus and modular platform product design method.

Keywords: modular design; product platforms; mechanical bus architectures; modular products; platform design; product design; product development; mass customisation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMASSC.2005.007351

International Journal of Mass Customisation, 2005 Vol.1 No.1, pp.65 - 82

Available online: 11 Jul 2005

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