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Frontiers of Mechanical Engineering >> 2014, Volume 9, Issue 1 doi: 10.1007/s11465-014-0296-8

Robust design of configurations and parameters of adaptable products

1. Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Calgary, Calgary T2N1N4, Canada.

2. Department of Mechatronics Engineering, Shantou University, Shantou 515063, China.

3. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China

Available online: 2014-05-16

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An adaptable product can satisfy different customer requirements by changing its configuration and parameter values during the operation stage. Design of adaptable products aims at reducing the environment impact through replacement of multiple different products with single adaptable ones. Due to the complex architecture, multiple functional requirements, and changes of product configurations and parameter values in operation, impact of uncertainties to the functional performance measures needs to be considered in design of adaptable products. In this paper, a robust design approach is introduced to identify the optimal design configuration and parameters of an adaptable product whose functional performance measures are the least sensitive to uncertainties. An adaptable product in this paper is modeled by both configurations and parameters. At the configuration level, methods to model different product configuration candidates in design and different product configuration states in operation to satisfy design requirements are introduced. At the parameter level, four types of product/operating parameters and relations among these parameters are discussed. A two-level optimization approach is developed to identify the optimal design configuration and its parameter values of the adaptable product. A case study is implemented to illustrate the effectiveness of the newly developed robust adaptable design method.

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