Inderscience Publishers

Issues on the development and application of computer tools to support product structuring and configuring

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The aim of this article is to strike a balance between the results and challenges of efforts to develop computer tools to support product structuring and configuring in product development projects. The balance will be made in two dimensions, a design science and an industrial dimension. The design science dimension focuses on our understanding of product structure and product configuration. The industrial dimension presents findings from a number of projects regarding the implementation of computer tools to support engineering designers in industrial practice. The article concludes that there are major positive effects to be gained for industrial companies by consciously implementing computer tools based on the results of design science. The positive effects will be measured by e.g. predictable product quality, reduced lead time, and reuse of design solutions.

Keywords: product structure, product configuration, domain theory, computer support, implementation process

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