1998-06-02

Chain Representations of Dimensional Control: A Producibility Input for Concurrent Concept Design 981846

Two critical milestones that must be achieved during concept design are 1) definition of a product architecture that meets performance, producibility, and strategic objectives, and 2) estimation of the integration risk in each candidate concept. This paper addresses these issues by describing the role played by the producibility members of an Integrated Product Team (IPT) during concept design. Our focus is on the execution of the what we call the “chain method”, which illustrates the structure of function delivery in a concept in a simple pictorial way and helps the IPT to understand the advantages or disadvantages of using a modular or an integral product architecture. The producibility members play a central role in capturing and evaluating the chains for different candidate concepts and decompositions. By defining an active role for the producibility engineer in this method, we shift the role of the producibility members from evaluators of concepts to active participants in the concept design process. An example drawn from the aircraft industry is used to illustrate the chain method and the producibility team member's input specifically. Implementation issues are discussed.

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