Production Engineering

, Volume 13, Issue 3–4, pp 361–371 | Cite as

Highly iterative technology planning: processing of information uncertainties in the planning of manufacturing technologies

  • Jan ReyEmail author
  • Sebastian Apelt
  • Daniel Trauth
  • Patrick Mattfeld
  • Thomas Bergs
  • Fritz Klocke
Production Process


Highly iterative product development is a promising approach to continuously involve customers in development and to meet global challenges such as short product life cycles and increasing variant diversity. In this context, the planning of production technologies, which takes place in parallel to product development, faces the challenge of processing uncertain product information in early planning phases. This is due to the frequent change of the required product characteristics while the product is being developed. Technology planners must therefore adapt the effort of their planning methods to the existing information uncertainty. This paper presents a new methodology for processing uncertain information from various information sources in technology planning. Firstly, individual information are modelled using fuzzy sets. Afterwards, a new method based on the Dempster–Shafer theory of evidence is presented, which enables an aggregation of individual information from different sources considering their uncertainties. The aggregated information regarding the product characteristics are used to determine the product maturity in the current iteration loop of the highly iterative development process. Finally, the user of the methodology selects a suitable technology planning level based on the prevailing product maturity.


Manufacturing technology planning Highly iterative product development Information uncertainties Dempster–Shafer theory of evidence 



The authors would like to thank the German Research Foundation DFG for the support of the depicted research within the project KL 500/211-1 “Methodology for the highly iterative design of production process sequences”.


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Copyright information

© German Academic Society for Production Engineering (WGP) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL)RWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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