Incorporating Field Effects into the Design of Modular Product Families

DS 122: Proceedings of the Design Society: 24th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED23)

Year: 2023
Editor: Kevin Otto, Boris Eisenbart, Claudia Eckert, Benoit Eynard, Dieter Krause, Josef Oehmen, Nad
Author: Kuechenhof, Jan (1); Berschik, Markus C. (1); Beibl, Julia (1); Alonso Fernández, Iñigo (2); Otto, Kevin (3); Krause, Dieter (1); Isaksson, Ola (2)
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: Hamburg University of Technology;2: Chalmers University of Technology;3: University of Melbourne
Section: Design Methods
Page(s): 2275-2284
DOI number:


With advancing digitalization, new technologies with more and more digital components make it necessary to integrate new components into current and future products. Sensors and actuators, such as motors, emit electromagnetic and thermal fields that can greatly affect product performance. Recent work has considered fields at the functional level using functional structures and at the system level using DSM. In this paper, the effects of fields on product architecture are investigated at the component level. Using an appropriate visualization, the impact of fields on the product structure is considered. Architectural guidelines are then used to develop suitable product structures. The methodological approach is then applied to a product family of vacuum cleaner robots. The overlaid field information helps to gain deeper insights into the product architecture. The approach is useful for representing alternative structures. The new mapping of functional and structural relationships by moving module boundaries against fields can help promote architectural innovation.

Keywords: Product families, Design for X (DfX), Design methods

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