A documentation tool for product configuration systems - improving the documentation task

Lars Hvam, Klaes Ladeby Jensen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Configuration systems are increasingly applied to automate the configuration of complex products. A configuration system is an expert system designed to combine specified modules according to constraints. The constraints are stored as product data and rules in a product model, and one of the most essential tasks is thus to develop a complete and consistent product model which can reflect the actual product. A procedure for building product models has been developed at the Centre for Product Modelling (CPM), and the pro-cedure has been successfully applied in several industrial companies. CPM's experience with the procedure and the hitherto empirical experience from companies having applied the procedure have revealed that there is a need for an IT-based docu-mentation tool to support the process of constructing product configuration systems. Time can be saved by letting a documentation tool handle trivial time consuming tasks (notification on change, consistency check etc.), as a computer of-ten handles these tasks in a better way. Thus, a serious bottleneck can be eliminated by applying Information System (IS) technology to the process tasks. This paper deals with the specifications of a documentation tool for product configuration, based on CPM's procedure and experience from four Danish industrial companies which have applied the procedure. The requirements have been gathered and structured by using object-oriented system development techniques based on an analysis of the existing prod-uct configuration processes of the companies. The analysis was based on the procedure for building product models as de-veloped at CPM, and revealed several common requirements within the different companies.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal of Engineering
    Volume1
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

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