The Design of Open Engineering Systems Lab

University at Buffalo - The State University of New York

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A Function Based Approach for Product Integration

Research Area: Research Publication Year: 2014
Type of Publication: Article
Authors: Kalyanasundaram, Vishwa; Lewis, Kemper
Journal: ASME Journal of Mechanical Design Volume: 136
Number: 4 Pages: 041002
Reconfigurable and multifunctional products are breeds of products that cater to the increased diversification of customer needs. Unlike single-state static products which can perform only one primary function, these products cater to different customer needs by performing more than one function with or without changing their configuration. However, there is a lack of systematic methods to support the conceptual task of combining two existing single-state products into an integrated product that provides multiple functions. In this work, a function based approach is proposed which provides more rigorous support to assess the feasibility of integrating two products. The function structures of the existing products are combined to obtain the overall function structure of the reconfigurable product. Function sharing, based on quantified functional similarity, is proposed and applied to identify functions that can be shared by the same component. The information obtained from the function structure is then mapped to the components of two existing products to analyze their roles in the final reconfigurable product architecture. A case study illustrates the proposed approach by analyzing the integration of a power drill and a dust buster.