PLM architecture for optimization of geometrical interfaces in a product platform
Product platforms can be used as an enabler for offering a wide variety of products to the market, while keeping the development cost down. Reusing knowledge in new designs is a key concept of product platforms, whether it is about reusing entire parts, or reusing ideas and concepts. The Configurable Component (CC) concept is one way of describing a product platform, and is based on autonomous subsystems that are not fixed, but have a bandwidth within which they can vary. These systems are configured to fit the set of requirements resulting in product variants. Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) as a complementing business strategy deals with integrating processes, information, systems and people across the product lifecycle to support the development of complex products. This paper describes a case study where the CC concept is successfully implemented in a PLM environment to allow configuration of the systems in relation to each other. The focal point of this paper is configuration of the geometrical interfaces between sub systems. A car door from a Swedish car manufacturer, known for the tight fit in assembly, is used as an example. In this case, there are two requirements on the assembly. First, the assembly cannot be far from nominal, thus requiring robust interfaces between the ingoing parts. Second, the window must be mountable. The result is a PLM architecture with a Product Data Management (PDM) system, a Computer Aided Design (CAD) tool, two Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) tools and a configurator, all integrated.