Modelling and using product architectures in mechatronic product development

Publication: ResearchPaper – Annual report year: 2012


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The objective for the paper is to determine the role of a product architecture modelling tool to support communication and to form the basis for developing and maintaining product structures for improving development practices of complex products. This paper contains descriptions, observations, and lessons learned from a case study in which the author tested a modelling tool to represent a product’s architecture during product development in a larger Danish company. The reasons leading to the use of the specific model and it’s terminology is described and illustrated. The paper supports two fundamental theoretical viewpoints; Theories of technical systems and theories of design processes. In this framing, the paper addresses the engineering activity of developing products supported by product architecture representations. The paper includes the description of a visual architecture representation, experiences by using the architecture representation in a mechatronic development project, and the scope of using the architecture model as a skeleton for a data structure in a PLM system. The fundamental idea for planning and modeling holistic architectures is that an improved understanding of the whole product system, will lead to better decision making. Moreover, it is discussed how the sometimes intangible product structures within a architecture can be visually modeled based on the assumption that knowledge about a product’s architecture has to be tangibly instantiated, in order for people and decision makers to successfully share it and use it.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2012
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2012
EventNordDesign 2012 - Aalborg, Denmark


ConferenceNordDesign 2012
LocationAalborg University


  • Architectural design process, product models, Top-down synthesis, PLM systems
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