Product architecture and the propagation of engineering change

Jarratt, T. A. W; Eckert, C. M.; Clarkson, P. J. and Schwankl, L. (2002). Product architecture and the propagation of engineering change. In: 7th International Design Conference (Design 2002), 14-17 May 2002, Dubrovnik, Croatia, pp. 75–80.



The majority of design activities involve adapting a known solution to meet new requirements. Therefore understanding the issue of engineering changes is of vital importance if companies are to deliver product development projects on time and to budget. Making a change to a product is, in most cases, a relatively simple process. However, unexpected propagation of changes can occur. What may initially appear as a simple procedure can dramatically turn into an expensive redesign that requires alterations to a wide range of components. This paper investigates how product architecture influences change propagation and uses a design case study to highlight the complexity of this issue as faced by designers during product development.

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