Industrial Application of Set-based Concurrent Engineering – Managing the design space by using Platform System Families

Abstract: During product development, most of the customer value, as well as the cost and the quality of a product are defined. This key role of development in industry has led to an intense search for better ways to develop products, software, services and systems. Two development methodologies that have received positive attention for their efficiency are Set-Based Concurrent Engineering and platform-based design.This thesis presents the results of implementing the principles of Set-Based Concurrent Engineering (SBCE) in platform-based design as a means to improve the industrial product development. The contribution is a better understanding of SBCE and new ways to use its principles to support development processes. The results are developed in collaboration with industry and demonstrate that SBCE gives positive effects on many aspects of product development performance and on the resulting products. Further, it clarifies that SBCE has a distinctive way to manage the design space that promotes a thorough understanding of the important design parameters before committing to a specific design.Finally, this work presents a structured design process for managing the first phases of platform development. The studies in this thesis show that previous approaches in literature do not present methodological support for developing product architectures in the earliest stages of platform development. This work fills this void by introducing a new design methodology for modelling, assessing and narrowing down the architectural design space in the phases before embodiment. It allows exploration of more alternatives in the earliest phases of development, which ultimately may produce better designs.