AdaptEx: Extending Product Life Cycles through Strategic Product Upgrades
Increasing competition for better product functionality, quality, features, customization, environmental friendliness, lower cost and shorter delivery time will require that product-oriented manufacturing and engineering enterprises optimize the entire product life cycle and become more responsive in developing products. For manufacturing of relatively long life and one of a kind products such as power stations or ships, the manufacturing and construction of such products are influenced by the state of the art technology and knowledge as well as other related issues. To maintain or even enhance such engineering systems performance in their life cycles, technical upgrading is necessary. Therefore, it requires a new design thinking process as well as methodology to address these challenges. This paper proposes a new design approach using Adaptive Design Extension (AdaptEx) that incorporates key design information throughout the entire life cycle of the engineering systems. This helps ensure that the original function and design specifications are not lost or altered due to the operation, maintenance or upgrades made to the system during its life cycle. As the speed of technological change will be continuously increasing, this new methodology will allow design engineers to accommodate for this radical change in technology and be able to implement it into the design. AdaptEx will therefore focus on allowing design enhancements to continue throughout the product life cycle. This paper will reveal the need for this type of design engineering development and summarizes some of the potential benefits of implementing the AdaptEx process.
Keywordsadaptive design modularity life cycle extension enhancement
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