Research in Engineering Design

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 1–21 | Cite as

Change and customisation in complex engineering domains

  • Claudia Eckert
  • P. John Clarkson
  • Winfried Zanker
Original Paper


Based on a detailed case study on change and customisation to existing products in the aerospace industry, this paper presents a comprehensive analysis of the problems and processes associated with product change. It looks at the potential causes and effects of changes, and analyses the formal and informal processes that are used to handle change. Change processes become problematic when change to one system propagates to other systems, because the tolerance margins of individual parameters are exceeded. The paper concludes with suggestions for handling change.


Change Change management Redesign 



The authors are grateful to the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and AgustaWestland Helicopters Ltd for their support of this project, especially the copious assistance of Ian Russell, Rachel Gollin, Ben Smith, and Fergus Crawford and the numerous engineers who allowed us to interview them.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudia Eckert
    • 1
  • P. John Clarkson
    • 1
  • Winfried Zanker
    • 1
  1. 1.Cambridge Engineering Design Centre, Department of EngineeringUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUnited Kingdom

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