Original Date: 01/23/1995
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Parent-Child Design Paradigm
The Sandia National Laboratories' (SNLs’) Agile Product Realization of Innovative ElectroMechanical Devices (A-PRIMED) Project has initiated a new design "parent-child" program where the "parent" refers to a class of products and "child" to an instance within the class. SNL maintains that if multiple variants of a new product are inevitable, then it is necessary to plan for the variability. By initiating this new framework, Sandia is able to plan production processes and facilities that address all child products and automate design and manufacturing tasks related to design variations. Also, parameter space qualification contributes to an agile product realization process.
The parent-child paradigm is a proactive design which attempts to predict and plan for all product variations up front. Although similar to variant design, it differs in that variant design normally addresses variations and repercussions after an initial design has been created. Parametric design provides capabilities for controlling geometric relationships between features in a product. A parent-child design uses parametric design and other technologies for product/process development and qualification.
Sandia has applied the new paradigm to the development of a complex product such as a maze wheel (a strong link device for nuclear weapons). Some examples of the design constraints that were considered for such a product include the number of codes supported, stresses to which the component may be subjected, component size, weight, and speed of operation. One major benefit of this approach is to ensure that all future instances of this class of product can be produced using the same manufacturing facilities and processes.
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