Management of Product Configuration Conflicts to Increase the Sustainability of Mass Customization
Environmental effects of industries and plants
Renewable energy sources
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AbstractAn important role in product variety management is finding an accurate variety extent to which the product matches the consumer’s expectations. In principle, customers prefer to have more rather than less versions of a product from which to choose. This motivates producers to offer a richer variety of goods. As a consequence, it brings a large amount of manufacturing complexity, and configuration conflicts may frequently occur. In order to avoid a situation in which a customer will select mutually incompatible components, product configurators usually recommend corrective actions for generating valid configurations. Nevertheless, the presence of infeasible configurations in customer options are negatively perceived by customers, and therefore it has an unfavorable impact on the sustainability of mass customization. One way to solve this problem is to eliminate, or at least reduce, mutually incompatible components. When considering the fact that eliminating all incompatible components may cause a rapid decrease in product variety, then the reduction of incompatible components can help to solve the product configuration problem. The proposed method aims to find a trade-off solution between minimizing configuration conflicts and maintaining a sufficient level of mass customization. Moreover, two supplementary methods for the determination of infeasible product configurations are proposed in this paper. The applicability and effectiveness of the proposed methods are demonstrated by two practical examples.