The impact of applying product-modelling techniques in configurator projects

Lars Hvam*, Katrin Kristjansdottir, Sara Shafiee, Niels Henrik Mortensen, Zaza Nadja Lee Herbert-Hansen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This paper aims to increase understanding of the impact of using product-modelling techniques to structure and formalise knowledge in configurator projects. Companies that provide customised products increasingly apply configurators in support of sales and design activities, reaping benefits that include shorter lead times, improved quality of specifications and products, and lower overall product costs. The design and implementation of configurators are a challenging task that calls for scientifically based modelling techniques to support the formal representation of configurator knowledge. Even though extant literature has shown the importance of formal modelling techniques, the impact of utilising these techniques remains relatively unknown. Therefore, this article studies three main areas: (1) the impact of using modelling techniques based on Unified Modelling Language (UML), in which the phenomenon model and information model are considered visually, (2) non-UML-based modelling techniques, in which only the phenomenon model is considered and (3) non-formal modelling techniques. This study analyses the impact to companies from increased availability of product knowledge and improved control of product variants. The methodology employed is an exploratory survey, followed by interviews with 18 manufacturing companies providing customised products. The results indicate that companies using UML-based modelling techniques tend to have improved documentation of their product knowledge and an improved ability to reduce the number of product variants. This paper contributes to an increased understanding of what companies can gain from using more formalised modelling techniques in configurator projects, and under what circumstances they should be used.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Volume57
Issue number14
Pages (from-to)4435-4450
Number of pages16
ISSN0020-7543
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Information systems
  • Product-modelling
  • Product configurators
  • Documentation
  • Object-oriented modelling
  • Knowledge management

Cite this

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title = "The impact of applying product-modelling techniques in configurator projects",
abstract = "This paper aims to increase understanding of the impact of using product-modelling techniques to structure and formalise knowledge in configurator projects. Companies that provide customised products increasingly apply configurators in support of sales and design activities, reaping benefits that include shorter lead times, improved quality of specifications and products, and lower overall product costs. The design and implementation of configurators are a challenging task that calls for scientifically based modelling techniques to support the formal representation of configurator knowledge. Even though extant literature has shown the importance of formal modelling techniques, the impact of utilising these techniques remains relatively unknown. Therefore, this article studies three main areas: (1) the impact of using modelling techniques based on Unified Modelling Language (UML), in which the phenomenon model and information model are considered visually, (2) non-UML-based modelling techniques, in which only the phenomenon model is considered and (3) non-formal modelling techniques. This study analyses the impact to companies from increased availability of product knowledge and improved control of product variants. The methodology employed is an exploratory survey, followed by interviews with 18 manufacturing companies providing customised products. The results indicate that companies using UML-based modelling techniques tend to have improved documentation of their product knowledge and an improved ability to reduce the number of product variants. This paper contributes to an increased understanding of what companies can gain from using more formalised modelling techniques in configurator projects, and under what circumstances they should be used.",
keywords = "Information systems, Product-modelling, Product configurators, Documentation, Object-oriented modelling, Knowledge management",
author = "Lars Hvam and Katrin Kristjansdottir and Sara Shafiee and Mortensen, {Niels Henrik} and Herbert-Hansen, {Zaza Nadja Lee}",
year = "2019",
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}

The impact of applying product-modelling techniques in configurator projects. / Hvam, Lars; Kristjansdottir, Katrin; Shafiee, Sara; Mortensen, Niels Henrik; Herbert-Hansen, Zaza Nadja Lee.

In: International Journal of Production Research, Vol. 57, No. 14, 2019, p. 4435-4450.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - The impact of applying product-modelling techniques in configurator projects

AU - Hvam, Lars

AU - Kristjansdottir, Katrin

AU - Shafiee, Sara

AU - Mortensen, Niels Henrik

AU - Herbert-Hansen, Zaza Nadja Lee

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AB - This paper aims to increase understanding of the impact of using product-modelling techniques to structure and formalise knowledge in configurator projects. Companies that provide customised products increasingly apply configurators in support of sales and design activities, reaping benefits that include shorter lead times, improved quality of specifications and products, and lower overall product costs. The design and implementation of configurators are a challenging task that calls for scientifically based modelling techniques to support the formal representation of configurator knowledge. Even though extant literature has shown the importance of formal modelling techniques, the impact of utilising these techniques remains relatively unknown. Therefore, this article studies three main areas: (1) the impact of using modelling techniques based on Unified Modelling Language (UML), in which the phenomenon model and information model are considered visually, (2) non-UML-based modelling techniques, in which only the phenomenon model is considered and (3) non-formal modelling techniques. This study analyses the impact to companies from increased availability of product knowledge and improved control of product variants. The methodology employed is an exploratory survey, followed by interviews with 18 manufacturing companies providing customised products. The results indicate that companies using UML-based modelling techniques tend to have improved documentation of their product knowledge and an improved ability to reduce the number of product variants. This paper contributes to an increased understanding of what companies can gain from using more formalised modelling techniques in configurator projects, and under what circumstances they should be used.

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