Modularization of a washing machine and study its potential

Modularization of a washing machine and
study its potential in implementing multiple
life-cycles
Shimelis Mekonnen Wassie
Master of Science Thesis
KTH Industrial Engineering and Management
Production engineering and management
SE-100 44 STOCKHOLM
2016
FOREWORD
I would like to thank my supervisor Farazee Asif at Production engineering and management
department, KTH for giving me the chance to work on this topic and for helping me with all the
questions I had regarding this research work.
Shimelis Wassie
Stockholm, October, 2016
1
NOMENCLATURE
Notations
Abbreviations
MFD – Modular Function Deployment
CV – Customer Value
PP – Product properties
DFX – Design for Excellence
DSM – Design structural matrix
QFD – Quality Function Deployment
DPM – Design Property Matrix
MIM – Module Indication Matrix
IM – Interface Matrix
MVS – Module Indication Matrix
Keywords: MFD, modular product, multiple life –cycles, resource conservative
manufacturing
2
List of figures
Figure 1 Company starategic directions (7) .................................................................................. 12
Figure 2 Customer segementation ................................................................................................. 17
Figure 3 Customer values (Palma software tool) ......................................................................... 18
Figure 4. Customer values ranking (Palma software tool) ........................................................... 19
Figure 5. Ishikawa for CV ¨Protect fabric ¨ .................................................................................. 20
Figure 6. Ishikawa for CV ¨Compact¨........................................................................................... 20
Figure 7. Ishikawa for CV ¨Low operating cost¨ .......................................................................... 20
Figure 8. QFD (partial) ................................................................................................................ 22
Figure 9 Bottom-up functional analysis (Motor) .......................................................................... 23
Figure 10 DPM (partial) ................................................................................................................ 24
Figure 11 DPM relations diagonally arranged (partial list) .......................................................... 25
Figure 12 Module drivers .............................................................................................................. 26
Figure 13 Drivers grouped to company strategy (7) ..................................................................... 26
Figure 14 Module indication matrix (MIM) (partial).................................................................... 27
Figure 15 Initial modules coloured differently (partial list) ......................................................... 28
Figure 16 Lead time in assembly as a function of number of modules (16) ................................ 28
Figure 17 Statistical clustering of technical solutions (partial) .................................................... 29
Figure 18 Final module clusters (partial) ..................................................................................... 29
Figure 19 Module driver matrix (MDM) ...................................................................................... 30
Figure 20 Interface matrix (IM) ................................................................................................... 31
Figure 21 Interface between control unit and holder module ...................................................... 31
Figure 22 Module variants; Analogue (left) and touch screen (right) ........................................... 33
Figure 23 Sample variants (emphasizing on control unit and door module) ................................ 35
List of tables
Table 1 Product properties and goal values .................................................................................. 21
Table 2 Relationship strength ........................................................................................................ 21
Table 3 Technical solutions and function (partial list) .................................................................. 23
Table 4 Module variant specification sheet (Control module) ...................................................... 34
Table 5 End of life strategy based on drivers and company strategy (5) ...................................... 36
Table 6 end-of-life implication ..................................................................................................... 38
3
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Table of Contents
FOREWORD
1
NOMENCLATURE
2
NOTATIONS
2
LIST OF FIGURES
3
LIST OF TABLES
3
TABLE OF CONTENTS
4
1 INTRODUCTION
1.1
6
Background
6
1.2 Purpose and motivation
7
1.3 Delimitations
7
1.4 Methodology
8
1.4.1 Scientific methodology
8
1.4.2 Tools and steps for the research processes
8
2 FRAME OF REFERENCE
10
2.1 Modularity and modularization
11
2.2 Why Modularization
11
2.3 Modular design methods
12
2.3.1 Heuristic method
13
2.3.2 Design structural matrix (DSM)
13
2.3.3 Modular function deployment (MFD)
14
2.4 Multiple life-cycles in modular design
3 WASHING MACHINE CASE STUDY
3.1 Modular Function Deployment MFD
15
16
16
3.1.1 Customer segmentation
16
3.1.4 Clarifying customer requirements
17
3.1.5 Customer value ranking
18
3.1.6 Product properties and Goal values
19
3.1.7 Quality function deployment (QFD)
21
4
3.1.8 Technical solutions and functions
22
3.1.9 Design property matrix (DPM)
24
3.1.10 Module indication matrix (MIM)
25
3.1.11 Module generator (MG)
28
3.2 Optimizing modules
30
3.2.1 Module driver matrix (MDM)
30
3.2.2 Interface matrix (IM)
30
3.2.3 Module variant specifications (MVS)
31
3.3 Proposed concept variant illustrations
34
3.4 Multiple life cycle implications
35
4 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS
39
5 REFERENCES
40
APPENDIX A
42
5
1 INTRODUCTION
In this chapter the background, purpose and objective of this project will be presented. Also the
organization of the project and the delimitations of it will be described, as well as the company
will be briefly introduced.
This research project deals with modularization and multiple life-cycles of a product. How
modularization assists in extending the use life of a product through multiple life-cycles is
discussed and demonstrated by using a case study. The product chosen for this case study is a
front-loading medium capacity washing machine.
1.1 Background
Modularization is a concept that different products are produced by combining a limited number
of modules on a basic framework. In this way modularization balances standardization with
customization and flexibility. Understanding the phenomenon and using the guidelines for a
good modular design is essential to obtain high benefits from modularity. Despite the benefits
only few companies use the concept of modularity. This may be due to the fact that many
companies luck the basic understanding of modularity.
Today’s customers and users of high‐end brand appliances have high expectations on the
products they purchase and use in their everyday life. To satisfy and retain the customers it is
important to meet these expectations. However, to have too high quality requirements in
production and too narrow tolerance ranges makes the production unjustifiably expensive. To be
able to have an appropriate quality level the customers’ requirements, needs and opinions must
be well known and understood, as well as they must be the foundation for all quality work. To
have the ability to meet the requirements in satisfying way knowledge must also exist about
which possibilities the production processes have and how the output can be controlled.
Due to high market competition besides meeting their customer needs companies are forced to
strive for efficiency, reduce cost, increase quality and reduce response time. Focusing on
customer needs leads to high level of customization of the product to meet specific market
segments. This usually makes companies to deal with a large variety of products which is
difficult to manage. To strive in this business condition companies have to have the means to
deal with these seemingly conflicting ideas. In the concept of mass customization modularization
is often mentioned as a means to handle this situation.
The ever growing in consumption of products together with today’s conventional manufacturing
system creates depletion of the limited natural resources. The use of resources worldwide is
outstripping supply. It already requires three planet’s worth of materials to maintain the pattern
of consumption we’re accustomed to in the Western world , and from metals to food and water,
energy to timber, the demand on resources continues to grow (Kingfisher’s PLC, 2012). To
tackle this problem the way of manufacturing and natural resource usage should focus towards a
sustainable way of operation.
Incorporating the concept of modularity and life-cycle considerations in the early stage of
product conception and design is key to a sustainable development. Designing products for
multiple life cycles with the help of modularization is not only sustainable towards reserving
natural resources but also cost effective. Modularization from a multiple life cycle point of view
gives a competitive advantage in business to a company.
6
1.2 Purpose and motivation
The aim of this research is to study the design of a washing machine from modularization point
of view, demonstrate how redesigning can improve product variety and establish some ground
work in implementing multiple life-cycles based on modularization.
Moreover, the purpose of this project in a broad sense is to apply modularity concept for the
design of a washing machine to enhance flexibility in product architecture and improve the life
span through modular components. The project is also concerned with how modules are
designed, how they could be improved, how they are selected and documented in order to
improve the manufacturing efficiency and the overall life cycles of the product.
1.3 Delimitations
Due to the complex nature and broad scope of this topic, it is necessary to clarify the limitations
of this project, so as to set some boundaries.

Due to the broad concept of sustainability and closed loop production system, this project
only deals with modular design with the focus on multiple life-cycles.

Only specific customer segments i.e. home users, commercial users including hotels have
been considered.

This analysis has been done for a specific model of a washing machine brand which
means some of the results are not generic.

Due to time and resource limitations, surveys have not been conducted among specified
segments to reflect on customer demands. Rather, academic reasoning and experience of
the research team at KTH (IIP) has been used.

To comply with the company’s innovation secrecy the existing washing machine model
will not be revealed in detail. Only the modules which are subject to modification in the
new approach will be discussed.

Some attributes or variables are decided using academic reasoning. In this project utmost
effort was done to reason the choices and decisions made.
7
1.4 Methodology
1.4.1 Scientific methodology
The research follows a qualitative research methodology where a case-study approach is used. It
deals with the potential of product modularization n implementing multiple life-cycles in
products. The research object (case-study) is a front loading medium capacity washing machine.
Step by step clarification of the process is discussed in the next section.
This case-study deals with customer demand and how it will translate in to a physical product.
Techniques derived from Design for Excellence (DFX) are used as guidelines. In DFX a
collection of specific guidelines that addresses different issues that may occur in a product life
cycle as specified. The primary task in this method is to understand the user wants and specify
the requirements. When using DFX method in this research it focuses on design for
manufacturing, recyclability, reusability, re-manufacturability, upgradability and maintainability.
1.4.2 Tools and steps for the research processes
Although there are different modularization methods the method used in this project is Modular
Function Deployment (MFD). Through the washing machine case study the method and working
principals of MFD will be tested and its impact in the life cycle of the product will be described.
Palma modular management software tool is used as the primary platform for this research.
Palma uses modular function deployment (MFD) method developed by Gunnar Erixon (Erixon,
1998) for developing modular product architectures using a systematic method.
The basic steps that are followed to visualize the modular design follows the steps in Palma
software which intern are based on modular function deployment (MFD). MFD is composed of
five basic steps. The first step is represented in the Quality Function Deployment (QFD) matrix
that clarifies the customer requirements (aka customer value statements) by mapping them
against the product properties. Product properties are measureable and controllable entities that
allow specification of the product demanded by the customer. QFD captures the Voice of
Customer and allows it to influence the design of the product at the proper level of abstraction.
In step two, the functional requirements of the product are identified through a form of
functional decomposition. Functional decomposition is used to define the technical solutions.
The technical solutions are the embodiment of the product properties. If necessary a Pugh
selection matrix (Pugh, 90) can be used to evaluate and evolve technical solutions based on
evaluation criteria. The results of these evaluations are modeled in a Design Property Matrix
(DPM), where the relationship between product properties and technical solutions is presented.
DPM then becomes the representation of the Voice of Engineering in which the product
properties are translated to mechanical terms.
Step three highlights a unique attribute of Modular Function Deployment. Unlike other
architecting approaches, MFD incorporates a company’s strategic intents into the product design.
Module Drivers are the mechanism used to indicate the strategic reasons behind creating a
module. There are twelve Module Drivers (Erixon, 1998) which cover the entire life-cycles of a
product. Technical solutions are matched against drivers in the Module Indication Matrix (MIM)
to impart the strategy the company has for each Technical Solutions. Those technical solutions
8
which have similar DPM relations and drivers are clustered in a Module. This step gives us the
initial module clusters.
The initial modules are evaluated in step four by considering how the modules will be physically
connected together using module interfaces. Interfaces represent a connection or interaction
between modules in product architecture. Evaluation of the interfaces is vital to ensure flexibility
of the product assortment as well as allowing for concurrent engineering. An interface can be
defined as an attachment, transfer, spatial, command and control, field, environmental and user.
An interface matrix documents the interface type and facilitates the analysis of interfaces.
In step five module concepts are improved using the DFX approaches, for example Design for
end-of life or Assembly, depending on the company value driven operating model. Module
specifications are written for each module containing market requirements, technical
information, and business strategy. MFD is not a replacement for component level design
improvements. Detail design of the components encapsulated in a module is still required and
guided by the module specifications.
Finally, multiple life cycle considerations are formulated depending on company strategy
discipline. The formulated modules are evaluated against module drivers that are associated with
the life cycle of the product. Modules are improved depending on their respective basic driver
for example a module which end of life intent is to recycle is designed to be easily disassembled
and containing the minimum material mix.
This design methodology (MFD) is chosen as the method for modularizing the washing machine.
Although it is based on functional decomposition and interaction like the other methods
discussed, it also considers company strategies and business model through module drivers. The
working processes and a step by step procedure is discussed in detail further in the report
through the illustrative washing machine case study
9
2 FRAME OF REFERENCE
This chapter will present theories relevant for the research work. A summary of the existing
knowledge on this topic is presented.
In this era of mass customization modular design plays a major role. Mass customization is
defined as the ability to provide customized products through a flexible process in high volumes
and at reasonably low cost (Can, 2008). Modularity unlike mass customization allows product
variety keeping a certain level of customization. This is possible because modular product
architecture have a variety of standard modules that has the feature of ¨plug and play¨ to create
product variety. In this way, it is possible to satisfy a varied customer needs or customer
segments in a systematic and cost effective way.
Products with modular architecture can be varied with little complexity to the manufacturing
process. Once the functions of a product are broken down and modules are defined with
standard interfaces the same process can deliver product variety. The capability to introduce
component design variations into a modular architecture enables a given product to be
configured potentially in to a large number of varieties. This is possible by "mixing and
matching" different designs of a component. These module variations when combined in a
specific way can create a number of product variations.
Unlike in modular design, in an integral design (non-modular architecture) a small change in a
component requires redesigning of the whole product to some extent. This means that variation
in the function or interface of the new component in the product might not go along with other
components in the product without some redesigning. A non-modular design is favored when the
product is created to serve a single intended purpose under well-defined and stable
environmental conditions (Ron Sanchez, 2000). Thus, a fundamentally important design
difference between modular and non-modular architectures is that modular architectures are
system designs that are dynamically optimized to adapt to some range of changing purposes or
conditions, while non-modular architectures are typically optimized to meet a single purpose
under constant conditions (Ron Sanchez, 2000).
Another important aspect of modularization is its impact on the life cycle of a product.
Functional independence and component interactions are two main measures of modularity. In
an ideal modular product, a module is independent from all the other components that are in the
product. Within a module components should undergo similar life-cycles processes. This means
that a module undergoes a process that is independent of other modules during its entire lifecycle.
Life-cycle modularity is a broad subject where a product’s whole life needs to be considered,
from beginning to the end. This cradle-to-grave design philosophy is generally called Design for
the Life Cycle and it encompasses all aspects of a product’s life cycle from initial conceptual
design, product use and end of life treatment of the product (Patrick J. Newcomb, 1996). End of
life treatment refers to reuse, remanufacture, and recycle.
In life-cycle modularity since each module is designed to undergo a specific process independent
of others throughout its life the end of life treatment the product can vary between its modules. If
a module is functional at the end of the product life-cycle it can be reused in a different product.
If a module is at the end of its design life it can be either re-manufactured or recycled. Every
module in a product have different design lives. The ability to extend a product life by replacing
certain modules with new ones at the end of their life cycle or upgrading the modules to increase
functionality without changing the whole product is the main idea behind life-cycle modularity.
10
In this way, a modular design helps to achieve multiple life cycle of a product that extends to
maximum use of limited resources.
2.1 Modularity and modularization
A company’s ability to diversify and vary its product is based on its product architecture.
Modular product design is a way to achieve good product structure. The aim of modularity is to
develop a product that can serve as the basis for a number of product variants.
Product modularity is not only about minimizing the number of parts it includes classification of
product functions in to categories. Basic function, help function, special function, adaptive
function and customer specific function (Pahl G, 1998).
The principal idea in modularity suggests dividing complex product systems in to a number of
modules where each module is optimized separately and interfaces with other modules should be
considered to have smooth system integration. This allows a company to standardize its
components and create product variety. Different levels of modularity are listed below (Erixon,
1998).
 Component-swapping modularity: when two or more alternative components are
paired with the same basic product.
 component-sharing modularity: complementary case to component-swapping; when
the same component is used in different products
 fabricate-to-fit modularity: when one or more standard components are used with one
or infinitely variable additional components
 bus modularity: when a product with two or more interfaces can be matched with any
selection of components from a given set of components
 sectional modularity: allows a collection of components out of a given set of
components to be configured in an arbitrary way as long as the components are
connected at their interfaces
2.2 Why Modularization
For many years it was a common thought that companies had to choose a strategy as mass
producing (standardization) at the expense of customization, tailored production at the expense
of efficiency or high quality margin products at the expense of limited variants. This can be
represented by the three strategic directions that a company has to choose from: Operational
excellence (best cost), customer intimacy (best solution), and product leadership (best product).
11
Figure 1 Company starategic directions (Mark W. Lange, n.d.)
Striving for one strategy will affect the other two strategies negatively. In today’s market where
companies strive to meet each customer requirements a company strategy of customer intimacy
with customization is necessary to compete while keeping a good level of operational excellence
and product leadership. So, balancing the three strategies in an optimal way is the key to
company development.
Modularization is a way for balancing these three strategies for any single company. How this is
achieved is by shifting focus from the company level to product level. If we can work with
different strategies in different parts of the product we can improve in all the three strategies.
This is the basic principle behind modularization. At the same time modularity is a structuring
principle which creates variety, reduces complexity, utilizes similarity, provides flexibility and
has some organizational advantages allowing work in parallel (concurrent engineering) and tasks
solved independently.
2.3 Modular design methods
Through time many modular design methods have been developed. Modular design is not a new
concept. Scania started modular design in the late 60’s on their modular truck cabins. Despite the
early experiment not much progress has been seen in industries adopting the modular concept.
Early research in to the influence of product architecture on organization and the development
processes has been conducted by Miller and Sewers (Miller, 1995) and Gardiner (Gardiner,
1986). Henderson and Clark (Henderson, 1990) suggested that when product development
processes becomes structured around a firm's current product architecture, the firm may have
difficulties in recognizing possibilities for innovating new architectures, which may lead to a
failure for a company to innovate in its product and thereby maintain market leadership (Ron
Sanchez, 2000).
A pioneering work that leads product architecture towards modularity is first proposed by
Sanchez and Mahoney (Ron Sanchez, 2000). They suggested modularity as an open system
12
design for strategic flexibility and competitiveness. Their work suggests that modular/opensystem product architecture gives customers the ability to use industry standard components in
configuring their own system. Furthermore, they suggest that the ability to design rapid, low-cost
configurability into modular product architectures endows firms with the strategic flexibility to
offer more product variations and more rapid technological upgrading of products that can be
accomplished through traditional integral/ optimal design.
Many more works have been done in product architecture and modularity through the years. To
generalize the whole idea, we are going to follow the classification by Hölttä and Salonen
(Holtta K., 2003). They classified modular design methods in to three basic types: heuristic
method, modular function deployment (MFD), and design structural matrix (DSM).
2.3.1 Heuristic method
First developed by Stone et al. (2000), Heuristic method is defined as a method of examination
in which a designer uses a set of steps, empirical in nature, yet proven scientifically valid, to
identify modules in a design problem (Stone, 2000). It tries to find modules by breaking down
the overall function of a product in to a smaller and easily solvable sub-functions based on flow
of energy, material or signal passing through the product. Functional models are derived from a
black box where specific customer needs are represented as input/output flow. For each input
flow a chain of sub-functions are identified until it exits from the product. Sub-functions may
follow different flow streams. This lead to the formulation of three heuristics based on the three
possibilities that a flow can experience: 1) a flow may pass through a product unchanged, 2) a
flow may branch, forming independent function chains, or 3) a flow may be converted to another
type. Based on the heuristics sub-functions that are related by flow are taken as modules
(Zamirowski E. J., 1999).
However, each of the methods may identify overlapping modules or modules which are subsets
or supersets of other modules. Besides, this method focuses on replacing components in
modules, it ignores component swap with in a module or module interfaces. The choice that
should be made on which module choose in this method is not always clear and requires some
engineering judgment. This approach provides only suggestions and it is up to the designer to
choose which ones makes sense. Due to these reasons this method is left out of this project.
2.3.2 Design structural matrix (DSM)
Design structural matrix (DSM) is a method where a component-component matrix is derived
from spatial, energy, information, and material interactions of components (Holtta K., 2003).
The interaction is represented using co-efficient according to their strength. Once the interaction
matrix is developed a clustering algorithm is used to maximize interaction within clusters and
minimize interactions between clusters. The clustering algorithm can be specific to the design
intent. A design with environmental focus can define the relationship between components in
terms of life cycle issues such as service and maintenance and post life intent (recycle, redesign,
or disposal). In this way by defining modularity measures and computerized clustering algorithm
to a specific purpose complex product architectures can be modularized in a simplified way.
However, the interactions between components are usually not clear. Defining the strength
between the interactions and coming up with a sensible co-efficient is usually judgmental. This
method is beneficial for complex product architectures. It involves tidies matrix evaluation
considering the number of components that are in a product and the number of interactions
13
between them. It also neglects to include business oriented factors strategy leaving them to the
designer’s judgment. For this reason it is usually used for complex product architecture and not
considered in this project.
2.3.3 Modular function deployment (MFD)
Another modularization method which is based on functional decomposition is modular function
deployment (MFD). It consists of five main steps: 1. Clarify Customer Requirements, 2. Select
technical Solutions, 3. generate Concepts, 4. evaluate Concepts and 5. Improve each module.
It is somehow similar to quality function deployment (QFD) (Akao, 1990). It starts with QFD to
clarify customer requirements emphasizing on modularity. A fish bone diagram can be used to
transform customer requirements to product properties. Design requirements or product
properties derived from the QFD are then translated in to a technical term which gives technical
solutions. Here functional decomposition of the product by means of for example functions
means tree is used to breakdown product function in to sub-functions. In this step several
technical solutions to each function could be formulated. Selection of the appropriate technical
solution is carried out Pugh evaluation matrix. This is followed by Design property matrix
(DPM) where product properties are matched with technical solution.
MFD uses twelve module drivers to identify possible modules. The first is carryover where a
technical solution carries the same function from product to product and no technology change is
expected. The next two, technology push and planned development drivers; assumes changes in
the function. The appearance and purpose of the product is affected by the next two module
drivers, technical specification and styling. A common unit is where a module is common in all
variants. Process and/or organization, separate testing, supplier availability, and service and
maintenance are related to the organizational effects of modularization. Additional features to the
product in the future are represented by the driver upgrade. The afterlife intent of the product is
covered by the recycle driver. According to company and business strategy some or all drivers
are chosen for to generate the modular concepts.
The module indication matrix (MIM) is considered to be the ¨heart¨ of the MFD (Erixon, 1998).
It relates technical solutions to module drivers. Each sub-function or technical solution
associated with it is weighted against the drivers to identify the driving forces behind it.
Depending on the weight of the relation technical solutions are grouped in to modules. Care must
be taken in forming modules because some drivers cannot be grouped together in the same
module. For example, carry-over driver cannot be in the same module with technology push.
Since the later involves changes to the original design.
After the modular concepts are generated the next task is which one of those module alternatives
are better suited to the desired product. The concept evaluation step may involve many attributes
but the main evaluation matrix is interface matrix (IM). In an interface matrix modules are
related against themselves in a matrix. Interfaces can be defined depending on the intended
purpose i.e. to simplify the process planning workshop organization or assembly and
disassembly. In addition to interfaces different evaluation criteria could be used. These could be
system cost, lead time in assembly, development cost, number of parts etc...
The next task in MFD is module variant specification (MVS) and product configuration.
Depending on the product property goal values a number of module variants could be specified.
It is up to the designer to choose from these variants to meet customer demand in the final
14
product. The company variant strategy plays a big role in selecting the final concept. Variant
strategy comprises of the overall product families to be offered and the degree of product
customization. Product architecture, interface and resource or costs are also key factors in the
selection processes.
The last step is to improve each module. Product design improvement may take place at different
levels: product level and part level. Using the MIM as a reference module that are specifically
chosen for ease of end of life treatment should be designed to have a minimum possible material
mix. All the other modules could also be improved using the design for ‘X’ (DFX) methodology
where the ‘X’ could stand for the module drivers.
2.4 Multiple life-cycles in modular design
One advantage of modular design is its ability to increase product variety through customized
modular parts. In this era of mass customization flexibility of organizational structure in
addressing the three basic company strategies product leadership, operational excellence and
customer intimacy simultaneously is vital for economic feasibility. Following different strategy
in designing the different modules leads to extended useful life of the product through upgrading,
reusing or replacing a single module at the end of its functional life cycle.
A product’s architecture plays the predominant role in determining its assembly, disassembly,
recycling, service, and other post-life characteristics. A modular architecture formulated
considering the life cycle of a product is termed as life cycle modularity (Patrick J. Newcomb,
1996). In modular function deployment method, among the twelve module drivers upgrade,
service and maintenance, and recycle are associated with life cycle issues (Erixon, 1998).
Although this method uses significant human judgment and requires experience designers to
categorize the end of life intent; based on the module drivers and strategic discipline it is
possible to categorize modules in to their perspective end of life treatment.
The three strategic disciplines (Mark W. Lange, n.d.) along with the twelve drivers can provide
an indication on how different modules can be categorized from the perspective of end-of-life
strategy. Modules associated with customer intimacy; i.e. technical specification, styling and
service and maintenance may be good candidates to be replaced or recycled at the end-of-life.
Modules associated with operational excellence; i.e. Carry-over, common unit, process and
organization, and separate testing may be good candidates to be reused or remanufactured at the
end-of-life. Module drivers associated with product leadership; i.e. Technology push, planned
development and upgrade may be good candidates to be upgraded at the end-of-life.
15
3 WASHING MACHINE CASE STUDY
This chapter describes the process of modularization of the washing machine.
3.1 Modular Function Deployment MFD
Modular Management has provided the service of developing modular product architectures
using a systematic method called Modular Function Deployment (MFD). MFD is a systematic
method and procedure consisting of five main steps. It starts with Quality Function Deployment
(QFD) analysis to clarify the customer requirements and to identify important design
requirements with a special emphasis on modularity. The functional requirements on the product
are analyzed and the technical solutions are selected. This is followed by a systematic generation
and selection of modular concepts. The Module Indication Matrix (MIM) is used to identify
possible modules by examining the interrelationships between “module drivers” and technical
solutions. MIM also provides a mechanism for investigating opportunities of integrating multiple
functions into single modules. The expected effects of the redesign can be estimated and an
evaluation can be carried out for each modular concept. The whole processes are described step
by step using figures and tables. Illustrations are partial; for the full content refer the index
section.
Existing
product
description
New ideas
Decided changes
Clarify
customer
requirements
(Step 1)
QFD
Select technical
solutions
(Step 2)
Generate
concept
(Step 3)
Functional decomposition
Decomposition
Pugh analysis
MIM
questioner
Evaluate
concept
(Step 4)
interface matrix
evaluation chart
(MEC)
Improve
product each
module
(Step 5)
Modular
DFX
Figure 1 Modular function deployment (MFD) (Erixon, 1998)
3.1.1 Customer segmentation
Marketers have recognized that the target audiences of a certain product are not all alike. They
differ in terms of demographics, attitudes, needs, location and social affiliations. Most markets
are made up of different individual customers, sub-markets or segments.
Segmentation and targeting of customers allows the marketer to deliver a product within the
target audience needs and wants (David Pickton, 2005). It is a necessity to establish the needs
and values of the target customers within each segment, in order for companies to promote their
products, brands or services appropriately.
Among the most critical dimensions for customer segmentation we have: Customer Attitudes,
customer Needs and Degree of Self Customer Needs and Degree of Self-Sufficiency Sufficiency,
different degrees of value added. Customer Behavior and Their Buying Practices
Based on the typical user of medium capacity washing machines, the customers are divided in to
three segments: home user, hotels, and commercial users.
16
Home users: This market segment targets customers from middle or high socio-economic class
which needs a premium quality product as their home appliances. These end users perform light
duty usage of the machine but with a reasonable simplicity and comfort. They also require a
machine capable of washing a vast variety of clothing in different condition. Energy and water
consumption is also a primary need.
Commercial users: These are public facilities which provide a neighbourhood with a faster,
efficient, and better cleanliness of garment wash. From everyday use cloths to larger garments
can be washed for a cheaper and energy efficient way. This customer segments are laundromat
owners which has a desire for high turnaround, more durable, efficient and heavy-duty machines.
Hotels: This customer segment may include businesses in the servicer industries: hotels,
boarding schools, etc... This segment focuses on less labour intensive, energy and water
efficiency (low operating cost), heavy duty, and fabric protection features. Durability of the
machine or ease of serviceability is also regarded highly.
From the three customer segments a number of customer values were driven.
Figure 2 Customer segementation
3.1.4 Clarifying customer requirements
The next step in any product design is to derive the appropriate design requirements from the
customers. The customer requirements have to be clarified, such that, the specification of the
product to be designed must be formulated. A method well suited to do this task is QFD with
modularity as the first design requirement.
In formulating the QFD limitation of project scope with reference to market segment, restricting
laws and regulations, projects costs and volume is the primary task. Allocation of resource, time
and limitation of questioners to customers should be systematic and selective. Organizing
customer needs and wishes with the help of affinity diagram limits the entry to the QFD making
it more manageable. Systematic methods like Ishikawa diagram can be used to establish the
design requirements.
17
A customer value is a statement of the experience the customer desires in their use of the
product. It is usually formulated by questioners or surveys and translated in a positive manner,
which is, more is better. But for this project the values are formulated by the writer as if the
customers were spoken to.
Aggregating the two data, the following customer values were driven
Figure 3 Customer values (Palma software tool)
3.1.5 Customer value ranking
To generate best concept on holistic customer value it is important to integrate direct customer
attitude and information driven from internal data (e.g. market trend analysis, turnover) in to one
evaluation. Each segment is compared with the other for every customer value. The goal is to
define what is important for the segment and to identify where we can offer variance or
development.
Taking these in to consideration the customer values were ranked from 10, 10 being very
important and 1 being least important, as shown below in figure 4:
18
Figure 4. Customer values ranking (Palma software tool)
3.1.6 Product properties and Goal values
Product properties or technical specifications are attributes about the product or service that can
be measured or controlled. It is the properties of the product that delivers a specified level of
value to customers interpreted in engineering terms. It can be features, functions or performance
of the product. It tells us how the next generation product will be better than the previous one.
There are different ways to drive product properties, one way is using Ishikawa diagram. In this
method all the possible product properties that influence a specific customer value are listed in a
fishbone diagram. Some examples in case of the washing machine are shown below in figure 5,
6 and 7.
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Figure 5. Ishikawa for CV ¨Protect fabric ¨
Figure 6. Ishikawa for CV ¨Compact¨
Figure 7. Ishikawa for CV ¨Low operating cost¨
The feature, functions or performance of the properties are given values, to set our goals on a
better performing product we have to set goal values for product properties. Each property
should have a measurable goal value or it should be possible to actively and intentionally control
the property. Goal values are classified in to five groups. Each goal values are explained below
using example product properties from figures 5, 6 and 7.
These goal values could be:





Variance: properties having more than one goal values
 E.g. Energy consumption (pp) – [A (59-68), A+(52-59), A++(46-52),
A+++(<46)] Kwh (GV)
Development: Property with Goal Value(s) that will change or be added in the future
 E.g. Design life (pp) –(could be improved)
Option: Property represented as a feature of the product that is applied near the end of
assembly (Yes or no)
 E.g. Delay time (timer)
Base: Property with only one Goal Value
 E.g. Drum material (pp) – Stainless still (GV)
System: Property related to several Technical Solutions having more than one Goal
Value
 E.g. Number of programs (pp)
20
Table 1 Product properties and goal values
3.1.7 Quality function deployment (QFD)
QFD is a relationship matrix that maps customer values with product properties. It captures the
voice of Customer and allows it to influence the design of the product. The goal is to determine
which property or properties affect a specific customer value.
Product properties generated from the Ishikawa diagram are used to populate the QFD. QFD
matrix matches these properties with customer values with respect to the presence and strength
of the relationship that exist between them. These relationships are portrayed by a set of three
symbols.
Table 2 Relationship strength
Strong relation
9 points
Medium relation
3 points
Weak relation
1 points
Negative relation
0 points
The product property has a clear and undisputable
positive impact on fulfillment of the customer value
recognized by all customers
The product property has positive impact on fulfillment
of the customer value in most cases but it might not be
recognized by all customers
The product property has positive impact on fulfillment
of the customer value in special cases and it will not be
recognized by all customers
The product property has negative impact on fulfillment
of the customer values
In this project a simplified form of QFD is used. It is mainly used to:




Illustrate the relationship between customer values and product properties
Calculate impact of Segment ranking and identify Product Properties that need Variance
Identify Product Properties that are important to all segments or may develop
Identify the trend of customer values that will help us on which product properties to
develop or which properties are satisfactory at the present circumstances
21
Figure 8. QFD (partial)
Product properties that have a strong relation with many of the customer values are area of focus.
If these properties are matched with an upward trend future generation of the product should
have an improved feature of this product for proper customer satisfaction. Low operating cost,
which is matched with many product properties and has an upward trend, should be an area of
focus.
3.1.8 Technical solutions and functions
A good product design begins with a good functional decomposition and the corresponding
technical solutions. Product properties being quantifiable measure of a module or component the
module or component that embodies the function is the technical solution.
Technical solutions in this project are derived entirely from the QFD. The method used to
identify technical solutions is bottom-up analysis. First, the washing machine is disassembled
and all components or functional units were identified. Second, main functions of each
component are listed. Since the project is not to redesign with new features only existing
technical solutions are considered. Third, product properties that are transformed by these
functions are matched with product properties derived from the customer values and technical
solutions that align with customer values and the corresponding product properties are selected.
22
Figure 9 Bottom-up functional analysis (Motor)
Table 3 Technical solutions and function (partial list)
Technical Solutions
Functions
Motor
Rotate drum assembly
Transfer motion from motor
to the drum
transfer motion from pulley
to the drum
Dump vibration
Carry body/load
Carry load and cover internal
component
support tub from bottom
Support and fix drum and
hold water
turn cloth(back drum side)
Hold cloth
Balance drum motion
Balance drum motion
Cover internal components
and asthetic
Cover internal components
and asthetic
Cover internal components
and asthetic
Cover internal components
Structural frame
Hold detergent/fabric
softener
Control/Release detergent
water from valves to drum
Belt pulley
Bearing transmission
assembly
Shock absorber
Feet
bottom cover
Tub support frame
Tub(outer drum)
Rear drum supoort
Drum
Front balance weight
Back balance weight
Front panel
Cabinet side panel
top cover
Rear panel
Back support frame
Soap drawer
Soap dispenser
Inlet hoses
23
3.1.9 Design property matrix (DPM)
Now that the technical solutions that are needed to support the different performance and styling
levels requested by the customers are identified, it is important to link technical solutions to
product properties. The different goal values that are assigned for each product property reflect
on specification requirements for technical solutions.
DPM is a matrix that relates technical solutions with product properties. The motor whose
function is to rotate the drum assembly is strongly related to product properties; maximum speed,
energy consumption, design life and weight. It has also medium relations with product properties
maximum noise and mean time to service. When a technical solution is related to a product
property it takes the goal values of the property as its specification. Different segments may have
different customer value ranking. The goal values associated with the technical solutions must
much to satisfy different customer segments. In this way DPM gives as a clue to which technical
solutions can be grouped as modules.
Figure 10 DPM (partial)
An ideal DPM maps technical solutions to Product Properties one-to-one. The motor that
functions to rotate the drum assembly is matched with max spin speed, energy consumption,
design life, weight and noise. This requires the motor to be broken down in to its components but
due to the complexity a design decision is made not to go beyond this level. The same applies to
other functional components; pump, bearing …etc.
24
Initial clustering of the technical solution can be reveled after the TS and PP are matched
properly. This is done in Palma modular management tool software where the relations can be
diagonally arranged. In the picture below possible modules are colored to show how diagonally
arranging the relation gives us a hint of the modules (see figure 11). The final modules are not
defined here. We need more attributers to come up with a sound modular architecture. This will
be discussed further in the project.
Figure 11 DPM relations diagonally arranged (partial list)
3.1.10 Module indication matrix (MIM)
This matrix, which is called the MIM (Modular Indication Matrix), is considered to be the heart
of modular function deployment (Erixon, 1998). It is a QFD-like approach of giving an
indication of which sub function (s) should form a module. Modules proposed in the DPM are
primary indication. To make sure these modules alien with company strategies technical
solutions are checked for conflicting drivers (driving forces behind modularization). Module
Drivers are the means by which the company strategy can be applied to the Product structure
both at the Technical Solution and Module level. There are 12 pre-defined strategic reasons for
creating interfaces and modules to modularize product Life cycle.
25
Figure 12 Module drivers
This project focuses only on the product not on the process or supply chain. Therefore,
process/organization, separate testing, and strategic supplier modules are not considered in this
project. Drivers which are related to the life cycle of the product serviceability, upgrade and
recycling are not considered for the time being. They will be discussed in the multiple life cycle
consideration of the product later on in the project.
As discussed above in the project company strategies can be grouped in to three main categories,
product leadership, operational excellence and customer intimacy. Since modularization is about
optimization between the three strategies, components or technical solutions can fall in to one of
these three strategies and treated separately. The figure below shows how these drivers are
grouped in to different strategies.
Figure 13 Drivers grouped to company strategy (Mark W. Lange, n.d.)
26
The initial clusters of technical solutions created in the DPM are taken directly to the module
indication matric (MIM) and are related with the module drivers. For example, the technical
solution ‘motor ‘is related strongly with technology push and planned development. This is
because motor efficiency is being constantly upgraded. It has a huge impact in customer demand
because customers are constantly seeking for a better performing and efficient product. It
determines the market leadership of the product therefore the motor takes up the product
leadership strategy.
On the other hand, the component or technical solution ‘drum’ is
categorised as a carryover and common unit. This is due to drum design doesn’t change as much
and has limited influence in customer demand and product function. Thus, it takes up the
operational excellence strategy. Other technical solutions are grouped in the same methodology
which are listed in the figure below.
Figure 14 Module indication matrix (MIM) (partial)
At this stage of the design technical solutions should be checked for conflicting strategies. A
carry over technical solution cannot be a planned development as the same time. A styling
component cannot be a carry over or a common unit. This create a strategy conflict because
some parts of a product may be strongly influenced by trends and fashion, or closely connected
to a brand or trademark that will vary on demand. Here is a list of conflicting strategies that
should be avoided.





Carry Over ≠ Technology Push
Carry Over ≠ Planned Development
Carry Over ≠ Styling
Common Unit ≠Technical Specification
Common Unit ≠ Styling
27
Now the MIM is clear of conflicts indication of the final modules can be identified.
Figure 15 Initial modules coloured differently (partial list)
3.1.11 Module generator (MG)
In Palma modular management tool software modules can be automatically generated. The
automatic generation uses clustering algorithm that considers MIM and DPM relations. Here the
number of desired modules should be decided. This depends on the company strategic plan and
product complexity. But for this research ideal number of modules is estimated. The ideal
number of modules can be estimated by the lead time for assembly versus number of modules
graph (Erixon, 1998). Assuming the average lead assembly time for a washing machine in a
factory takes 10 minutes which translates to 600 seconds, the ideal number of modules can be
calculated to be 12.
Figure 16 Lead time in assembly as a function of number of modules (Erixon, 1998)
28
Now that the number of modules is set to be 12 the statistical clustering algorithm groups the
technical solutions.
Figure 17 Statistical clustering of technical solutions (partial)
For different reasons the clustering algorithm do not give the final modules. Some of the reasons
are technical and special integration problems. Personal experience and a know-how on the
product design and assembly is crucial in integrating and rearranging the TS in to modules. Most
technical solutions fall in a cluster in a sensible manner but some are either alone in a cluster or
mixed up with other module clusters. This can be sorted out considering the technical and spatial
integration. For example, the soap dispenser and soap drawer technical solutions are clustered in
a different group than the inlet valves and hoses. These four technical solutions are located
attached as one unit in the washing machine and serve a specific function. This leads to
clustering them together as one module due to technical and spatial integration reasons. The
same is done until all the modules are arranged in a more sensible way.
After all the technical solutions are grouped in to a module each module is given its own name.
The final module clusters created is as shown below.
Figure 18 Final module clusters (partial)
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3.2 Optimizing modules
There is a need to further evaluate the modules as many decisions and choices have been made.
An evaluation of the modules serves as a feedback for earlier phases in the project.
3.2.1 Module driver matrix (MDM)
All the technical solutions considered have been checked with module drivers for conflicts. Now
it is important to check for conflicts again at the modular level. All technical solutions in the
same module should be conflict free. If a technical solution conflicts with others in the same
module the clustering should be revised to group this technical solution by its own or with other
clusters with similar driver.
Below in figure 19, the ‘x’ shows modular level relation that is automatically driven from the
relations for the technical solution with in the same module.
Figure 19 Module driver matrix (MDM)
3.2.2 Interface matrix (IM)
Interface matrix defines what module how to modules should be connected to function properly.
For a modular design, the interfaces between modules have a vital influence on the final product
and the flexibility within the architecture. Hence, evaluation of module interfaces is important in
selecting the final concept.
An interface might for example be an attachment (A), transfer (T), or command and control (C).
Attachment interfaces defines physical attachment. Transfer interfaces transmit energy in the
form of rotating, alternating forces etc. and material in the form of media like fluids. Command
and control defines module based operational signals through an interface.
30
Figure 20 Interface matrix (IM)
Optimizing the modules in terms of interface matrix is crucial to the assembly processes and life
cycle cost. An ideal modularized product means that the modules should not only be compatible
to different variants of the current product families but also compatible with new generation
product families that may come in the future. Therefore, it is important to standardize the
interfaces.
Figure 21 Interface between control unit and holder module
As shown in the above figure with a red circle in one of the intersections in the matrix, the
‘control unit’ has one of the interfaces with the ‘holder’ module of the washing machine. This is
an attachment interface which press lock to the ‘holder’ module. To sustain the ‘control unit’
module that may fit in different product variants (or different variants of the ‘control unit’ fit in
the same ‘holder’ module) of both the current and future product families this attachment method
should be kept standard in all variants and generations.
3.2.3 Module variant specifications (MVS)
The washing machine has a variety of different customer demands. These different demands are
listed in section 3.1.4. A modular product family is formed to realize these various customer
demands while minimizing cost. To accomplish this each of the twelve modules created in this
31
process should be analyzed for possible variation depending on the customer value goal values
set in section 3.1.6 of this paper.
Once the modules and interfaces are identified it is the time to decide on the most feasible
concept for a new module variant by focusing on decisions regarding variety in the product
family. This is based on the observation that increases in variety through product differentiation
initially lead to strong increases in benefit for the company. This is because the additional
variants provide unique value to the customer. This value can be used to either increase the sales
price or open up new market segments. The marginal benefit, however, decreases with
increasing variety. At the same time, empirical studies have shown that the costs required to
provide variety, the so-called complexity costs, grow exponentially with increasing variety
(Avak, 2007). The management of complexity is a key success factor that should be taken
seriously.
Module variants are selected based on numerous considerations. Specifications for a module to
begin with are means to achieve company strategy. A company may follow more than one
strategy to satisfy different market segments. Other considerations include Product architecture
where the function and interfaces of a specific module complies with the rest of the product
modules. To keep the cost of variety low module variants should also be checked for required
resources. This also applies to evaluating and improving concepts
Module variant specification (MVS) is a matrix tool that relates modules with technical solutions
and their goal values. For example, on the ‘control unit’ module the product property ‘user
interface’ has been assigned to have different goal values; analogue control, LED control, touch
screen control, and wireless control. Each variant in this module could be part of a product
family for a specific customer segment. Depending on our customer segmentation, Home user,
Commercial user and Hotels, a home user may prefer a touch screen with or without wireless
control for set-up simplicity and to remotely control the operation if occupied with another job.
Hotels and commercial users in the other hand may prefer analogue with LED control for
durability and for the reason that some personnel is assigned for this operation to monitor it upclose. The two variants are illustrated below (figure 22) in solid model for visualization.
32
Figure 22 Module variants; Analogue (left) and touch screen (right)
Information about the modules has been dispersed in different documents so far. This makes it
difficult for the decision maker to organize the information to form product architecture. At this
stage in the project a module variant specification sheet is composed to gather all the information
about a module for easier decision making. An MVS sheet contains information about the drivers
behind the module, interfaces, variants and options, technical specifications and illustration of
the variants. An example of MVS sheet for ‘control module’ is given below in table 4.
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Table 4. Module variant specification sheet (Control module)
Module specification - M05 Control Module
Module Drivers
Product Properties
Planned development
Technology push
1. Wash (rinse) cycle
2. Number of programs
Styling
3. Delay time (timer)
4. User interface
5. Relative ergonomic experience
6. Color
7. Self clean program
8. Smart self fault diagnosis
9. Automatic safety switch
Illustration
Technical Solutions
1. Display screen
2. Selection keys
4. Control unit
5. Software
3. Front panel cylinda
Interface
1. A to M04 (Support)
2. C to M06 (Regulator)
3. C to M08 (Inlet)
4. C to M09 (Door)
5. C to M10 (Drain)
6. C to M13 (Motor)
Variance
Development
1. Analogue
2. LED
3. Touch
4. Wireless
Display screen
touch screen
upgradable software through USB or wireless
Important
3.3 Proposed concept variant illustrations
In this section, some examples of the proposed product concept is illustrated using CAD solid
modelling. Emphasis is given to the control and door module variants. A number of other
feasible concepts could be proposed based on the company strategy. The ones listed here are just
to give insight how product variant concepts could be visualised.
34
Base
variant
Variant
1
Variant
2
Figure 23 Sample variants (emphasizing on control unit and door modules)
3.4 Multiple life cycle implications
In modular design since each individual module is functionally independent it is possible to
follow different strategy for different modules. In today’s dynamic technological innovation
adopting the latest more functional technique is crucial for market successes and stay ahead of
competitors. Technical modules that are prone to frequent technological update should be
categorized as product leadership strategy while modules that stay the same from variety to
variety or future generations should be categorized as operational excellence. Modules that
determine product variety but do not change with future generations or technological
advancement are categorized in to customer intimacy strategy.
35
In similar way, modules in a product can also be thought from the perspective of end of life
strategies that is which modules should be designed for reusing, upgrading, remanufacturing or
recycling at their end of life. To start with the module drives can be further categorized for their
suitability of assigning one of the end-of-life strategies as shown in table
Table 5 End of life strategy based on drivers and company strategy (Patrick J. Newcomb, 1996)
Module driver
Strategic disciplines
Proposed end of life strategy
Technical specification,
Styling and
Service and maintenance
Customer intimacy
Replace or recycle
Carry over, common units,
process and organization,
separate testing, supplier
offers, and recycling
Operational excellence
Reuse or remanufacture
Technological evolution,
upgrade, and planned design
changes
Product leadership
Upgrade or replace
Taking the results from the module indication matrix as an initial input, considering the company
strategy discipline and based on the possible end of life strategies the multiple life-cycles
planning for each modules has been proposed.
Module M01:
The module ‘motor’ has been categorized as ‘product leadership’ since the main drivers for this
module are product leadership and technology push (refer figure 15). The current motor could be
reused or upgraded at the end of the first life cycle according to the strategic discipline (table 5).
Since the motor module is expected to evolve rapidly a new generation product should
incorporate an upgraded version to stay ahead in the market and satisfy the ever-growing
customer expectations. A careful consideration must be taken in designing this module and its
interfaces. A room for upgradability should be left and a sound standard interface should be
established well to aid in upgrading in the future.
Module M02-04, M 07, M 08 and M 10-12:
These modules have been categorized as ‘operational excellence’ because of the driving force
behind the modules, ‘carry over’ and ‘common unit’. This means that these modules are
proposed to be reused without or with some level of remanufacturing efforts after the first life
cycle. These are the components that are least expected to change in the future. A simple re-work
cleaning, coating and painting should be enough to reuse these components for a different
variant.
36
M02 (transmission module), M08 (temperature regulator module) and M12 (drain module) can
be re-used since the technology is expected to remain the same. M07 (inlet module) which
mostly contains plastic components and hoses can be re-used directly in future products. M03
(support module), M04 (drum module) M10 (rear panel module) and M11 (holder module) can
be re-used as it can be painted or coated for protection.
M02 (carry module) that contains feet, tub support frame bottom cover and shock absorber. can
be used for multiple life-cycles without any re-work or change. M03 (heating module) that
contains heat pump, condenser and heating element can be re-used with or without simple rework since the technology more or less remain the same. M07 (cover module) which contains
all cover panels and support frames would only require some painting or coating rework for reuse. M08 (inlet module) M10 (drain module) which contains pump, filter and drain hoses can be
reused as it is since the filter and pump design is expected to remain the same for some time to
the future.
Module M05:
The module ‘control unit’ has modules drivers that are associated with ‘product leadership’ and
‘customer intimacy’ as it includes drivers ‘styling’ and ‘product leadership and technology
push’. The control module is the most rapidly changing module as the technology for display
techniques (LED, smart touch) and the operating software are ever changing to optimize the
functionality and human interaction features. The display hardware could be replaced with
advanced features at the end of its life cycle and the software could be upgraded with a more
interactive operating system.
Module M06 and M09:
These modules are categorized as ‘customer intimacy’ as they are driven by ‘technical
specification’ and ‘styling’. M06 (door module) and M09 (front, side and top panel module) are
designed for ergonomics and style. Since style trend and human-machine interface simplicity is
continuously improving and changing new generation models could have new designs. Due to
this, these modules could undergo service or maintenance at the end of their life cycle or recycled for material retrieval. Due to the ever-changing customer demand a module which
satisfies customer demand in the current life cycle may not satisfy the improved needs in the
next life cycle product.
The overall summary of life-cycle planning is shown in table 6 below.
37
Table 6 End-of-life implication
Module
End-of-Lifecyle intent
M01 motor
Reuse/upgrade
M02 Transmission
Reuse
M03 Support
Reuse
M04 Drum
Reuse
M05 Control Unit
replace/upgrade
M06 Door
service and maintenance/ recycle
M07 Inlet
Reuse
M08 Temp. regulator
Reuse
M09 Front, side and top
panel
service and maintenance/recycle
M10 Rare panel
Reuse
M11 Holder
Reuse
M12 Drain
Reuse
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4 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS
In this chapter results obtained from the project are discussed and conclusions are drawn.
Conclusions are based on the purpose of the project and the goal set in the introduction chapter.
Company strategy plays a major role in a sustainable economic growth. Rather than following a
specific strategy optimizing business models on a sub-function level to satisfy varied number of
customer needs leads to a larger market share. MFD has been shown to be applicable over the
entire product range and the whole life cycle. In this project addressing more than one customer
segments with modular product design using MFD has been shown to be possible.
The principle of MFD where customer demands are linked directly to the sub-functions
(modules) is shown to be very important. Rather than trying to meet the customer need
considering the whole product it gives the freedom to work independently on each separate
module step by step taking the specific customer need for each one. This has simplified the
company strategy policy where different strategies can be applied for different modules. Besides
this, the method allows the designer to review and improve modules based on strategy and future
developments.
The modular function deployment (MFD) method used in this project has been shown to be
helpful in designing multiple life cycle products. The ability to crate different product variants
through modularization by combining different module variants helps in developing a multiple
life-cycle product. Furthermore, relating multiple life cycle drivers (upgrade, reuse, service and
maintenance and recycle) with the module drivers in the concept generation phase and later
evaluating the technical solutions focusing on their end of life strategy delivers a product with
multiple life-cycles.
Alternative technical solutions and interfaces were not discussed since the aim of the project was
not to design a new product but to modularize the current washing machine design with multiple
lifecycle considerations. The product function was satisfactorily broken down in to its subfunctions using functional analysis which leads to clearly defined modules. There could be many
combinations of modules that can be derived from the technical solution but the ones selected are
based on multiple life cycle driving forces. This is evident in the module indication matrix
(MIM) where life cycle drivers were considered.
The multiple lifecycles planning has been proposed purely from the perspectives of strategic
disciplines i.e., ‘customer intimacy’, ‘product leadership’ and ‘operational excellence’. A more
reasonable approach could be to use design for ‘X’ (DFX) methodology. In DFX attributes for
multiple life cycle i.e. design for assembly/disassembly, design for reuse, design for upgrade and
design for recycle could be independently considered for each module. Design structural matrix
(DSM) method where components are related with each other could also lead to a better
assembly/disassembly process and minimal material mix.
39
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41
APPENDIX A
Weight
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
Trend
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
~
Product Properties
40 25 19 27 24 42 33
PP01-Max spin speed
PP02-Loading capacity
PP03-Drum material
PP04-Max water consumption
PP05-Energy consumption
PP06-Structural materia(classification)l
PP08-Wash (rinse) cycle
0 12 69 30 18 31 39 24 11
PP43-Weight carrying capacity
PP09-Maximum noise
PP10-Min number of programs
PP11-Delay time (timer)
PP12-User interface
PP14-Open design
PP15-Design life
PP16-Wash temperature options
PP17-Water level regulation
0
PP44-Detergent variety
0
PP45-Water leakage proof
PP46-Drain water saturation
15 18 81 12 30 15 10
PP18-Weight
PP19-Safe lock
PP20-Level of automation
PP21-Automatic load sensing
PP23-Relative ergonomic experience
PP24-Color
PP07-Length
9
PP25-Width
9
PP26-Height
6
PP29-Portablity
0 12 48
PP31-Self clean
PP33-Number of steps to disassembly
PP34-Mean time to service
9
PP36-Smart self fault diagnosis
9
PP37-Automatic safety switch
0
PP38-Max resonance
0
PP39-Number of steps to load/unload
0
PP40-easy access to drum (Area)
0
PP41-max dewatering
0
PP42-Surface texture
31
36
51
42
18
12
18
12
30
21
18
19
12
21
21
12
64
36
18
27
40
42
Quality Function Deployment
Customer Values
Protect fabric
Compact
Low operation cost
Low noise, vibration
Wash all kind
Adequate washing options
Heavy duty
Pay per use capability
Optimize washing time
Disinfect cloth
Less maintenance
Easy repair/maintenance
Long service interval
Comfortable to use
Easy to use
Easy to clean
Environmental friendly
safe to use
Durable (long life)
Attractive
Cleanliness of washed cloth
.
Design Property Matrix
Product Properties
36
Property Class V
Technical Solutions
Functions
Motor
Rotate drum assembly
Belt pulley
Transfer motion from motor to the drum
Transmission belt
Transfer motion from motor to the pulley
Bearing transmission assembly transfer motion from pulley to the drum
Shock absorber
Dump vibration
Feet
Carry body/load
bottom cover
Carry load and cover internal component
Tub support frame
support tub from bottom
Tub(outer drum)
Support and fix drum and hold water
Rear drum supoort
turn cloth(back drum side)
Drum
Hold cloth
Front balance weight
Balance drum motion
Back balance weight
Balance drum motion
Front panel
Cover internal components and asthetic
Cabinet side panel
Cover internal components and asthetic
top cover
Cover internal components and asthetic
Rear panel
Cover internal components
Back support frame
Structural frame
Soap drawer
Hold detergent/fabric softener
Soap dispenser
Control/Release detergent
Inlet hoses
water from valves to drum
Inlet valves
regulate incoming water flow
Door lock
restrain wash
Door frame with handle
Hold door parts together
Hinge
Hold and open/close door
Door sealing with gasket
Prevent water leakage
Door glass
Wash visibility
Drain hose
dain water from tub to pump
Filter
Filter water at outlet
Pump
Drain water
Heating element
Heat water
Thermistor
Control temp. of water
Hydrostat
Control amount of water
Component holder behind
Structural frame(hold tubing & cables)
Holder behind
structural frame(hold wiring and electronics)
Front pannel holder
Holds control panel componenets
Display screen
Visula feedback on status of wash
Selection keys
Select different functions
Front panel cylinda
Hold keys and cover control unit
Circuit board (including software) Operates and manages the machine
Circuit board fixture
mount for circuit board
V
B
9
PP02-Loading capacity
PP03-Drum material
9
V
V
V
E
9
PP06-Structural materia(classification)l
PP08-Wash (rinse) cycle
15 102
PP04-Max water consumption
PP05-Energy consumption
15
V
V
D
O
B
V
B
O
O
O
B
D
O
B
D
-
54
0
37
18
PP20-Level of automation
PP21-Automatic load sensing
21
PP44-Detergent variety
39
9
PP18-Weight
PP19-Safe lock
PP45-Water leakage proof
PP46-Drain water saturation
PP17-Water level regulation
18
9
PP14-Open design
36
PP15-Design life
PP16-Wash temperature options
PP12-User interface
28
27
27
9
36
PP10-Min number of programs
PP11-Delay time (timer)
PP43-Weight carrying capacity
PP09-Maximum noise
24
B
B
V
O
PP26-Height
PP29-Portablity
9
V
V
49
PP25-Width
18
45
PP07-Length
40
PP23-Relative ergonomic experience
PP24-Color
36
O
B
B
V
O
B
21
16
36
D
O
21
PP39-Number of steps to load/unload
PP40-easy access to drum (Area)
PP36-Smart self fault diagnosis
9
30
PP37-Automatic safety switch
PP38-Max resonance
PP34-Mean time to service
9
PP31-Self clean
PP33-Number of steps to disassembly
18
V
V
9
PP41-max dewatering
PP42-Surface texture
9
complexity
59049
729
729
729
81
2187
6561
81
81
9
177147
81
81
531441
19683
531441
6561
9
729
81
243
729
81
729
81
27
1
729
243
243
27
243
243
9
9
9
729
6561
729
531441
3
score
1242
855
855
855
108
162
549
108
435
397
612
81
81
1071
742
1071
855
378
999
729
810
972
162
162
162
162
18
144
144
144
72
1017
909
378
378
378
1053
1188
567
1350
126
43
PP01-Max spin speed
Carry over
Technology push
Planned development
Technical Specification
Styling
Common unit
Process/organisation
Separate testing
Strategic supplier
Serviceability
Upgrading
Recycling
Module Drivers
Module Indication Matrix
153
45
50
12
75 243
0
0
72
36
12
0
Technical Solutions
Motor
Belt pulley
Transmission belt
Bearing transmission
assembly
Shock absorber
Feet
bottom cover
Tub support frame
Tub(outer drum)
Rear drum supoort
Drum
Front balance weight
Back balance weight
Front panel
Cabinet side panel
top cover
Rear panel
Back support frame
Soap drawer
Soap dispenser
Inlet hoses
Inlet valves
Door lock
Door frame with
handle
Hinge
Door sealing with
gasket
Door glass
Drain hose
Filter
Pump
Heating element
Thermistor
Hydrostat
Component holder
behind
Holder behind
Front pannel holder
Display screen
Selection keys
Front panel cylinda
Circuit board (including
software)
Circuit board fixture
44
Module Creator in Module Generator
Modules
Technical Solutions
M01-Motor
Motor
Belt pulley
Transmission belt
Bearing transmission assembly
Shock absorber
bottom cover
Feet
Tub support frame
Drum
Rear drum supoort
Front balance weight
Back balance weight
Tub(outer drum)
Front panel cylinda
Circuit board fixture
Selection keys
Display screen
Circuit board (including software)
Hinge
Door frame with handle
Door sealing with gasket
Door glass
Door lock
Inlet valves
Inlet hoses
Soap dispenser
Soap drawer
Hydrostat
Heating element
Thermistor
Cabinet side panel
Front panel
top cover
Rear panel
Back support frame
Front pannel holder
Component holder behind
Holder behind
Pump
Filter
Drain hose
M02-Transmission
M03-Support
M04-Drum
M05-Control unit
M06-Door
M07-Inlet
M08-Temperature regulator
M09-Front,side and top panel
M10-Rear panel
M11-Holder
M12-Drain
45
Recycling
Strategy
complexity
X
X
X
X
X
0
X
X
X
X
0
0
0
X
X
X
0 0
X
0
0
X X
0 0
M07-Inlet
M06-Door
M05-Control unit
M04-Drum
M03-Support
M02-Transmission
M01-Motor
Interface Matrix
Modules
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
0
Modules
M01-Motor
M02-Transmission
M03-Support
M04-Drum
M05-Control unit
M06-Door
M07-Inlet
M08-Temperature regulator
M09-Front,side and top panel
M10-Rear panel
M11-Holder
M12-Drain
A,T
A
A,T A
C
A C
A,T C
A C
C
A
A
A
46
A
C
A
score
1242
2565
819
1714
4284
666
3510
1998
2884
1233
1134
432
0
M09-Front,side and top panel
X
X
X
A
A
A
A
M11-Holder
X
X
X
59049
729
1594323
3.87E+08
1.16E+09
729
59049
59049
4782969
6561
9
729
M10-Rear panel
X
X
X
M08-Temperature regulator
PL
OE
OE
OE
PL
CI
OE
OE
CI
OE
OE
OE
M12-Drain
Upgrading
Serviceability
Strategic supplier
Separate testing
Process/organisation
Common unit
X
Styling
X
Technical Specification
Planned development
M01-Motor
M02-Transmission
M03-Support
M04-Drum
M05-Control unit
M06-Door
M07-Inlet
M08-Temperature regulator
M09-Front,side and top panel
M10-Rear panel
M11-Holder
M12-Drain
Technology push
Modules
Carry over
Module Drivers
Module Driver Matrix
Module specification - M01 Motor Module
Module Drivers
Product Properties
Technology push
Planned development
Technical specifications
1. Max spin speed
2. Energy consumption
3. Design life
Illustration
Technical Solutions
1. Motor
Interface
1. A & T to M01 (Transmission)
3. A to M02 (Carry)
4. C to M12 (Control)
Variance
Development
1. Low speed small motor with 1200 rpm
2. Medium speed motor with 1400 rpm
3. High speed motor with 1600 rpm
Direct drive digital inverter motor
Important
Direct drive digital invereter motor saves space, increases stability and lowers noise
Module specification - M02 Transmission module
Module Drivers
Product Properties
Technical specifications
Planned development
1. Max spin speed
2. Mean time to service
3. Design life
Illustration
Technical Solutions
1. Belt pulley
2. Transmission belt
3. Bearing transmission
Interface
1. A & T to M05 (Drum)
1. A & T to M13 (Motor)
Variance
Development
1. Small motor with 1000 rpm
Direct transmission
Important
Direct drive digital invereter motor saves space, increases stability and lowers noise
47
Module specification - M03 Support Module
Module Drivers
Product Properties
Technology push
Planned development
Technical specifications
1. Max spin speed
2. Energy consumption
3. Design life
Illustration
Technical Solutions
1. Shock absorber
2. Tub support frame
3. Feet
4. Bottom cover
Interface
3. A to M05 (Drum)
3. A to M07 (Cover)
4. A to M13 (Motor)
Variance
Development
1. Movable with wheels
2. Fixed feet
Better dumpening with spring
Important
Module specification - M04 Drum
Module Drivers
Carry over
Commen unit
Product Properties
1. Loading capacity
2. Drum material
4. Weight
5. Surface texture
3. Maximum noise
6. Max resonance
Illustration
Technical Solutions
1. Front balance weight
2. Back balance weight
4. Drum ribs
5. Rare drum support
3. Drum
Interface
1. A & T to M01 (Transmission)
3. A to M02 (Carry)
4. A to M07 (Door)
5. A & T to M08 (Inlet)
6. A & T to M10 (Drain)
Variance
Development
1. Small drum 6kg
2. Medium low drum 7kg
3. Medium high drum 8kg
4. Large drum 9kg
Important
48
Module specification - M05 Control Module
Module Drivers
Product Properties
Planned development
Technology push
1. Wash (rinse) cycle
2. Number of programs
Styling
3. Delay time (timer)
4. User interface
5. Relative ergonomic experience
6. Color
7. Self clean program
8. Smart self fault diagnosis
9. Automatic safety switch
Illustration
Technical Solutions
1. Display screen
2. Selection keys
4. Control unit
5. Software
3. Front panel cylinda
Interface
1. A to M04 (Support)
2. C to M06 (Regulator)
3. C to M08 (Inlet)
4. C to M09 (Door)
5. C to M10 (Drain)
6. C to M13 (Motor)
Variance
Development
1. Analogue
2. LED
3. Touch
4. Wireless
Display screen
touch screen
upgradable software through USB or wireless
Important
Module specification - M06 Door Module
Module Drivers
Product Properties
Planned development
Technical specifications
1. Safe lock
2. Number of steps to load/unload
Styling
3. Easy acces to drum
Illustration
Technical Solutions
1. Door lock
2. Door sealing with gasket
4. Door frame with handle
5. Door glass
3. Hinge
Interface
1. A to M05 (Drum)
3. A to M07 (Cover)
4. C to M12 (Control)
Variance
1. Standard door size
2. Large door
3. Standard door with wide opening angle
Development
Smart door: small extra door on the door, open while in operation
Important
Smart door enables addition of forgoten cloth or a pre washed cloth for final rinse or dewatering
49
Module specification - M07 Inlet Module
Module Drivers
Planned development
Commen unit
Product Properties
1. Water consumption
2. Level of automationl
3. Relative ergonomic experience
Illustration
Technical Solutions
1. Soap drawer
2. Soap dispenser
4. Inlet valves
5. Air compressor
3. Inlet hose
Interface
1. A & T to M05 (Drum)
3. A to M04 (Support)
4. C to M12 (Control)
Variance
1. Manual
2. Semi-automatic
3. Full-automatic
Development
Single fill detergent for multiple use controled Soup dispenser
Important
Module specification - M08 Regulator
Module Drivers
Technology push
Commen unit
Product Properties
1. Water consumption
2. Energy consumption
4. Wash tempreture
5. Levelof automation
3. Maximum noise
6. Automatic load sensing
Illustration
Technical Solutions
1. Heating element
2. Termistor
4. Hydrostat
3. Load balance sensor
Interface
1. A to M04 (Supprt)
3. F to M05 (Drum)
4. C to M12 (Control)
Variance
Development
1. Regulator
Important
50
Module specification - M09 Front, side top panels
Module Drivers
Product Properties
Styling
Planned development
1. Structural material
2. Colour
4. Height
5. Length
Serviceability
3. Width
6. Number of steps to disassemble
Illustration
Technical Solutions
1. Front panel
2. Cabinet side panel
4. Sound dead panel
5. Rare panel
6. Back support frame
3. Top cover
Interface
1. A to M02 (Carry)
2. A to M04 (Support)
3. A to M9 (Door)
4. A to M10 (Drain)
Variance
Development
1.
2.
3.
3.
Wide body with Coloured steel
Wide body with Stainless steel
Slim body with coloured steel
Slim body with stainless steel
Plastic body for side & top
All around sound dead panel with better material
Important
Plastic body reduces vibration noise, reduces rust for extended life
Module specification - M11 Holder
Module Drivers
Product Properties
Carry over
Common unit
1. Structural material
Illustration
Technical Solutions
1. Componenet holder behind
2. Holder behind
3. Front panel holder
Interface
1. A to M08 (Inlet)
2. A to M12 (Control)
3. A to M07 (Cover)
4. A to M06 (Regulator)
Variance
Development
1. Support
Important
51
Module specification - M12 Drain module
Module Drivers
Carry over
Commen unit
Product Properties
1. Max Dewatering
2. Mean time to service
Illustration
Technical Solutions
1. Pump
2. Filter
3. Drain hose
Interface
1. A & T to M05 (Drum)
3. A to M07 (Cover)
4. C to M12 (Control)
Variance
Development
1. Drain
Important
52
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