In order to develop mass customization, many companies use configuration software to customize their products. Although many studies already exist about Product Configuration, Requirements and Process Configuration have not been studied in detail. As all these three aspects must be considered for mass customization, the aim of this paper is to show how Product Configuration, when considered as a constraint satisfaction problem, can be extended upstream towards Requirements Configuration and downstream towards Process Configuration. Product Configuration basics are first reviewed thanks to a constraint based approach, and an analysis of industrial configuration situations is done in order to clarify mass customization needs in terms of configuration. Then upstream Requirements Configuration and downstream Process Configuration are defined and generic models are proposed. It is shown that the proposed elements allow a global and consistent flow of configuration activities. A detailed example illustrates the different configuration problems and a discussion terminates the paper.
Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 16, 2008
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