Multiple factors affect the decisions of selecting the appropriate components to share in product family design. Some of the challenges that the designers face are maintaining uniqueness and the desired performance in each variant while taking advantage of a common structure. In this paper, the sharing decision making process is analyzed for the case when a firm knows a priori that some of the components contain sensitive information that could be exposed to the user, third-party manufacturers, or undesired agents; thence, it is important to enclose it and protect it. Two important aspects to consider are defining the architecture of the product while protecting the sensitive information. This paper proposes tools to help the designers to identify components that are candidates for sharing among the family and finds the most desirable component arrangement that facilitates sharing while protecting the sensitive information that has been previously identified. The proposed framework is applied to three printers in which the architecture used for the ink cartridges and printheads are significantly different. Third-party manufacturers and remanufacturers offer their own alternatives for these subsystems (ink cartridges and printheads) since the customer for printer supplies is always looking for a cheaper alternative; meanwhile, the OEMs attempt to secure their products and retain their customers with original supplies. Having identified the sensitive components for each printer, the optimal clustering strategy is found, as well as the set of components that are candidates for sharing, according to their connectivity and the security considerations.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.