Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 1419–1431 | Cite as

A network-based assessment approach for change impacts on complex product

  • Hui Cheng
  • Xuening ChuEmail author


The complex product design is a continuously changing process from customer requirements to a maturity design. During this process a change of one part will, in most cases, causes changes in other parts and even the whole product. The assessment for the impacts of such changes can support designers’ designing and help manager to manage redesigning. A complex product can be considered as a weighted network of parts, subassemblies, or subsystems. Based on the theory of weighted networks, three changeability indices (degree-changeability, reach-changeability and between-changeability) are presented. Degree-changeability is used to calculate the direct change impacts. Reach-changeability is used to assess the indirectly change impacts because of propagation. If a part influences the other parts dramatically and it is also influenced by them, this part can be predicted by between-changeability. Finally, the three changeability indices are proven to be effective for the change impact assessment through a real-world case of Roots Blowers. With the analysis, the designers can avoid changing to “expensive” parts or subsystems.


Complex products Change propagation Networks Change impacts Changeability indices 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mechanical EngineeringShanghai Jiao Tong UniversityShanghaiPeople’s Republic of China

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