Growing concern for the environment has spurred interest in environmentally conscious design and manufacturing. The concept of Design for the Life Cycle encompasses all aspects of a product’s life cycle from initial conceptual design, through normal product use, to the eventual disposal of the product. A product’s architecture, determined during the configuration design stage, plays a large role in determining the product’s life cycle characteristics. In this paper, modularity of product architectures with respect to life cycle concerns, not just product functionality and structure, is defined and applied in the analysis of architecture characteristics. A principal hypothesis underlying this work is that high degree of life cycle modularity can be beneficial across all viewpoints of interest because all interested people will view the product similarly and consistently. An architecture decomposition algorithm from the literature is adopted for partitioning architectures into modules from each life cycle viewpoint. Two measures of modularity are proposed: one that measures module correspondence between several viewpoints, and another that measures coupling between modules. The algorithm and measures are applied to the analysis and redesign of an automotive center console. Results of applying the algorithm and measures accurately reflected our intuitive understanding of the original center console design and predicted the results of our redesign. Furthermore, these measures incorporate only configuration information of the product; hence, can be used before detailed design stages.

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