Product family optimization involves not only specifying the platform from which the individual product variants will be derived, but also optimizing the platform design and the individual variants. Typically these steps are performed separately, but we propose an efficient decomposed multiobjective genetic algorithm to jointly determine optimal (1) platform selection, (2) platform design, and (3) variant design in product family optimization. The approach addresses limitations of prior restrictive component sharing definitions by introducing a generalized two-dimensional commonality chromosome to enable sharing components among subsets of variants. To solve the resulting high dimensional problem in a single stage efficiently, we exploit the problem structure by decomposing it into a two-level genetic algorithm, where the upper level determines the optimal platform configuration while each lower level optimizes one of the individual variants. The decomposed approach improves scalability of the all-in-one problem dramatically, providing a practical tool for optimizing families with more variants. The proposed approach is demonstrated by optimizing a family of electric motors. Results indicate that (1) decomposition results in improved solutions under comparable computational cost and (2) generalized commonality produces families with increased component sharing under the same level of performance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Control and Systems Engineering
- Computer Science Applications
- Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
- Control and Optimization