A generic information platform for product families

Sammanfattning: The research work detailed in this dissertation relates to the computer representation of information which concerns product families and product platforms. Common to competitive companies today, is the quest of designing products and processes to meet a large variety of customer needs, in short time, and based on few resources. One way to succeed with this endeavor is to plan for the variety and design a modular, or adaptive, product family based on a common platform of resources. To further increase the efficiency in delivering customized products in time, a computer processible model of the family is created, which is used to realize a customer specific product variant during the order phase. The objective of this research is to define a generally applicable model of product family information for the purpose of supporting various applications, and for achieving an efficient utilization of information. The approach is to define a model of the product family according to the theory of Axiomatic Design, which reflects the trace from various requirements to functions and different properties and components of the product. By representing information from design in a generally applicable format, this information can be reused when building the configuration models of the order phase. By adapting the model to an existing standard, information exchange between systems is supported, and access is provided to information concerning detailed physical parts as well as constructs addressing various use and version management. Contributions include a description of a model architecture with reusable functional solutions, interfaces, structures and interrelations between platform solutions and product family. Further, it is described how to extend and model the domains and interrelations of axiomatic design in an information model, which is adapted to the product modeling standard of ISO10303-214.