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Incorporating quality function deployment and analytical hierarchy process in a knowledge-based system for automotive production line design

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The authors present an intelligent tool to perform the design of automotive production line, specifically for automotive body-in-white panels. The system adopts quality function deployment principle and analytical hierarchy process methodology to be the main reasoning logic for design decisions, and to explore the effect of enhancing these traditional tools with an artificial intelligent scheme, namely the knowledge-based system. Moreover, all knowledge and expertise of production line design are stored in an interactive knowledge base. Thus, the system is knowledge-base-oriented and exhibits the ability to repetitively deal with design problems as changes occur to design needs or manufacturing process options. Furthermore, this technique offers two knowledge bases: the first holds the production requirements and their correlations to essential process attributes, while the second contains available manufacturing processes and their characteristics to fabricate body-in-white panels. Finally, the work contains a case study to verify the developed system's functionality and merits. The results demonstrate an increase in the design procedure efficiency and reduction in the inconsistency. Similarly, the system provides improved results interpretation using graphical representation, in addition to the possibility of tracking the justification of final selected manufacturing processes down to the customer requirements.
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Keywords: body-in-white; intelligent analytical hierarchy process; intelligent quality function deployment; knowledge-based system

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Automotive Engineering Department, Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research – CU-ICAR, Greenville, SC, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2013

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