New technologies can yield high market potential, but also challenge engineering capabilities. For example, additive manufacturing enables unlimited freedom of design and economical production of small batch sizes. However, there are huge challenges: A large variety of new additive technologies, limited choice of materials and mostly high production cost as result of long production time. Since today’s production requires an economical implementation, focus needs to be on hybrid production, which combines the advantages of additive and conventional manufacturing technologies. This requires an integrated optimization of the product design, the manufacturing technology chain and the operative equipment.
The following paper presents an approach for this integrated planning approach with the aim of economically feasible hybrid production. In general, the interdependencies between product and manufacturing technology need to be used for optimization in early stages of the product life cycle. To achieve a high customer value, the product requirements have to be analyzed in detail to find an optimal product function, but also to identify degrees of design freedom, which do not influence product function and, thus, can be adapted to optimize production. ... mehrMoreover, possible changes in the capabilities of manufacturing technologies and, subsequently, operative equipment and machines can be anticipated to further enhance the production. After identifying optimal combinations of product design and manufacturing technology chains, the selection and optimal configuration of the operative equipment is necessary and needs to be validate based on the final product design.
The integration of product design, manufacturing technology optimization and operative process planning enables companies to identify and realize high economic potential early in their value creation process and thus can contribute to improving competitiveness.