Ph.D. Proposal Presentation by Jitesh H. Panchal
Monday, May 24, 2004

(Dr. Farrokh Mistree, Chair)

"Towards Integrated Design of Products and Design Processes"

Abstract

Design process strategies can affect not only the efficiency with which the resources for designing are used, but the nature of final design as well. Design processes determine to a large extent the efficiency and effectiveness with which design objectives are accomplished. Hence, it becomes very important to design the design processes along with the products. While Integrated Product and Process Design (IPPD) efforts focus mainly on design of products and manufacturing processes simultaneously, systematic methodologies for integrated design of products and design processes have not been addressed in the literature.

In response, the main objective in this proposal is the development of a methodology for integrated design of products and design processes. As a result of the proposed research, design methods will be extended to incorporate systems design of design processes. The methodology would facilitate computer-based support for modeling existing and new design processes using reusable building blocks. The outcome of this research will allow analysis and evaluation of different design process options and making systematic decisions about design processes that are currently made in an ad-hoc or experience based manner. To achieve this objective, the primary question is: How can design processes be modeled, represented, analyzed and synthesized in a manner supporting integrated design of products and design processes? In order to answer this research question, three research areas are identified: a) modeling and representation of design processes, b) analysis of design processes for openness, and c) synthesis of design processes. Research questions associated with each of these research areas are:

o How can design processes be modeled in a reusable manner and represented in a computer interpretable manner to support the design (i.e., analysis and synthesis) of design processes?
o How can the openness of the products and associated design processes be quantified?
o How can design processes be synthesized from existing design process elements?

Several activities are involved in developing the integrated product and design process methodology, including: a) Extending the Design Support Problem Technique to incorporate transformations in product information and developing formal computer representations for these transformations; b) Developing metrics for quantifying the impact of design process alternatives on the openness of product and processes; c) Developing means for reusing existing design processes and synthesizing new processes; d) Validating and demonstrating the methodology using example scenarios.