Augmenting a Design Repository to Facilitate Product Family Planning


A Design Repository has been created in an effort to archive existing products and the components in each product. With this function-based archiving system, designers can retrieve design information on existing products to assist in a new design project. The use of product families has emerged as an approach to exploit commonality for more efficient product development. However, the Design Repository does not contain explicit design information on platforms and modules. This paper describes information for the design of a platform and proposes a new data structure that organizes the information for augmenting the Design Repository. An information flow model for the development of a single product is modified to describe the flow of information needed for product platform design. The information flow model and associated data structure has been shown to be effective in representing three common product families: the Black & Decker Firestorm tool set, Kodak single-use cameras, and the IceDozer family of ice scrapers. With this data structure implemented into the existing repository, designers can find useful information on how to create different products based on the a common platform.

Meeting Name

ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (2005: Nov. 5-11, Orlando, FL)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Design Archives; Design Repositories

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2005 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

11 Nov 2005

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