Identifying and Comparing Subproblems in Factory Design Processes
Herrmann, Jeffrey W
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When a design team faces a problem of designing a complex system, they are required to make several decisions. Because such design problems are difficult to solve all at once, teams often decompose the design problem into several smaller subproblems. This thesis discusses the results of a study designed to understand how design teams decompose a factory redesign problem into sets of related subproblems and compare the subproblems obtained for each design team. This exploratory study analyzed the design activities of six teams of professionals and used clustering to group the variables that the design teams considered. It was found that the design teams used different decomposition strategies and different subproblems, but they more often considered subproblems with design variables of the same type, and some teams followed a top-down design process.