A methodical approach for designing innovative products based on computer aided functional modelling

DS 75-1: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED13), Design for Harmonies, Vol.1: Design Processes, Seoul, Korea, 19-22.08.2013

Year: 2013
Editor: Udo Lindemann, Srinivasan V, Yong Se Kim, Sang Won Lee, John Clarkson, Gaetano Cascini
Author: Heller, Jan Erik; van der Beek, Johannes; Dittmann, Claudia; Feldhusen, Jörg
Series: ICED
Institution: RWTH Aachen University, Germany
Page(s): 139-148
ISBN: 978-1-904670-44-5
ISSN: 2220-4334


Creating innovative products is vital for the success of enterprises. Markets change constantly and force engineering departments to shorten innovation cycles. To be competitive, a methodical approach for systematic innovation is needed. One promising way to achieve this goal is to base development processes on functional modelling. In this paper, an overview of existing functional modelling approaches is laid out and advantages as well as disadvantages are discussed. Koller’s methodology is presented in detail as it is highly suitable for systematic innovation. Although several methods seem to be published and well-documented, they currently are not widely adopted in industrial use. Reasons for this shortage are elaborated. An improved methodology for working with functions, physical effects and the morphological box is introduced. Different single aspects like disadvantages with the paper-based use of effect catalogues or the incorporation of magnitude influence with the composition of physical effects are shown. An implementation of a software prototype and its evolution is given. Thoughts on further improvement of both methodology and tool conclude the paper.

Keywords: Innovation, Functional modelling, Conceptual design, Early design phases, Design process


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