Forthcoming and Online First Articles

International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management

International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management (IJPLM)

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International Journal of Product Lifecycle Management (4 papers in press)

Regular Issues

  • Product BOMs in different lifecycle contexts managed by a PLM system as a requirement for implementing digital twins   Order a copy of this article
    by Darli Vieira, Eduardo Schmoller, Alencar Bravo 
    Abstract: This work is based on a real case of digital twin implementation in one of the largest global mining companies; this firm was aiming to improve maintenance planning and management. The object studied is a subsystem of a car dumper, a critical piece of equipment in mining. This work concludes that without digital product BOMs (bills of materials) managed by a PLM (product lifecycle management) system, it is not possible to institutionalize the digital twin in a company, and it illustrates a practical application of PLM system integration into CAD (computer-aided design) software. The BOMs are a requirement for implementing digital twins and provide the basis for the connection between the real and virtual worlds; they are the coalescent product structure for information registration and exchange. This work demonstrates that representative data related to digital product BOMs managed by a PLM system are the foundation for improving maintenance management in mining companies and that BOMs are a requirement for implementing digital twins.
    Keywords: digital twin; maintenance planning; operational assets; BOM; PLM system; software integration; CAD software.

  • Initial Stage of An Industrial Investigation of the Knowledge Management Practices in a Large-Scale Multinational Automotive Company   Order a copy of this article
    by Timothy Saunders, Caroline Tite, James Gao 
    Abstract: Automotive systems engineering design, and high-quality manufacturing, are highly reliant on the valuable knowledge and experience embedded within corporate processes, guides, rules, and practitioners. However, current Knowledge Management (KM) strategies are not entirely well suited to effectively capture all the new Systems Engineering (SE) knowledge generated during continuous innovation so that it is readily accessible throughout the complete vehicle product lifecycle. This paper reports on an investigation into KM practices within the Product Development (PD) environment of a large-scale multinational automotive manufacturer. An initial exploratory industrial investigation, involving automotive PD practitioners, was conducted with the central focus on the real-world implications of creating, sharing, storing and accessing SE knowledge. This paper presents an appraisal of the KM practices and reveals the types of SE knowledge utilised and the KM taxonomies employed throughout the SE lifecycle on multigenerational vehicle programs. The research conclusions in this paper form the foundation for further work.
    Keywords: Knowledge management; knowledge management taxonomies; knowledge management practices; knowledge management strategies; multinational automotive company; systems engineering design; systems engineering lifecycle; systems engineering knowledge; product development environment.

  • Analysis of the Life-Cycle Cost and Capability Tradeoffs Associated with the Procurement and Sustainment of Open Systems   Order a copy of this article
    by Shao-Ping Chen, Peter Sandborn, William Lucyshyn 
    Abstract: System openness refers to the extent to which system components (e.g., hardware and software) can be independently integrated, removed, or replaced without adversely impacting the existing system. Openness is an intuitively understood concept used to describe the architecture and implementation of safety- mission-, and infrastructure-critical systems. However, openness is difficult to quantify in terms of its value. While openness is widely associated with life-cycle cost avoidance, system openness can also lead to increased costs in some cases. Previous efforts to establish value have relied on qualitative system analyses, with the results often articulated as an intangible openness score that fails to provide the information necessary to understand the conditions under which there is a life-cycle cost avoidance. This paper develops a model that quantifies the relationship between system openness, life-cycle cost and system capability risks. A case study that evaluates the Acoustic Rapid COTS Insertion (A-RCI) Sonar System is provided. For the version of the A-RCI considered in this paper, an open system architecture was found to always be cost-effective when the original A-RCI two-year refresh interval is mandated. However, if the refresh interval is unconstrained and the expected consequence of losing capability is small, a closed system with no refreshes is less costly than the original A-RCI.
    Keywords: Open systems; Life-cycle cost modeling; Capability; Obsolescence management; A-RCI; Open Systems Approach (OSA); System of Systems Approach (SOSA); Business Case.

  • Reducing professional maintenance losses in production by efficient knowledge management in machine acquisitions   Order a copy of this article
    by Malin Hane Hagström, Dag Bergsjö, Jonny Blomberg, Martin Håkansson 
    Abstract: The society is changing fast and companies need to adapt to be able to stay competitive. Industry 4.0 clearly implies that more machines will be involved in production and that they need to operate as a system. Industrial systems engineering design; the way industrial systems are designed, will become even more relevant as this paradigm continues. Another shift is the move towards a circular economy, where increasing resource efficiency by keeping equipment functioning for as long as possible, by efficient maintenance and remanufacturing activities. This means that the industry needs to become better at designing new production systems. Research in product development has shown the importance of using knowledge gained from earlier projects to try to eliminate future design weaknesses. Other studies have shown that maintenance and equipment breakdown related losses are second and third largest losses in a specific automotive flow. Many of the losses in production are generated in the design phase. This paper presents a case study performed on four industrial system engineering design projects where the case company already had one machine and was buying more machines of the same type, and how knowledge about the existing machine is re-used in the new acquisition and the systems surrounding this process. The focus for analysis is regarding potential barriers to reuse the engineering knowledge, how the design model is supporting knowledge reuse, interaction with the suppliers, division of labour, technical documentation and the outcome of the acquisition process. The main conclusions are that there is a need for increased focus from management on the importance of knowledge, that more emphasis needs to be on making tacit knowledge explicit, increase the diversity in the engineering teams, ensure the design model is applying lean product development concepts that are suitable to knowledge management and to improve the interface with suppliers, mainly relating to documentation. For future research the recommendation is to evaluate if the industry is becoming better at re-using knowledge in machine acquisitions, to understand how the stage gate design model could be improved to enable efficient knowledge flows and also to understand how collaboration with suppliers could be done in an efficient and secure way.
    Keywords: System engineering design; Industry 4.0; design models; knowledge management; lean product development; lean enterprise; professional maintenance ; machine acquisitions; early equipment management.