2021 journal article
Assessing Lifecycle Value Using Object-Based Modeling by Incorporating Excess and Changeability
JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN, 143(5).
Abstract Prior research suggests that excess (purposeful inclusion of margin beyond what is required for known system uncertainties) can limit change propagation and reduce system modifications. Reducing change costs increases system flexibility, permitting adaptions that satisfy uncertain future requirements. The benefits of excess, however, must be traded against higher costs of the initial system and likely performance decreases. Assessing the benefits and costs of excess requires evaluating what forms, locations, and magnitudes of excess inclusion are optimal. This paper improves the state-of-the-art in two ways. First, prior research has generally assessed excess in system-level properties (aggregating component properties into a single metric). The approach presented in this paper extends excess assessment to the component level so that the effects of excess on change propagation may be explicitly captured. Second, this approach holistically assesses the value of excess by evaluating both its costs and benefits. The approach borrows from Decision-Based Design and Model Based System Engineering (MBSE) in creating a generic modeling method capable of excess valuation. A desktop computer example is used for demonstrating how excess is valued in a system and the potential gains associated with excess inclusion when mining cryptocurrency. A single component optimization of the power supply capacity for the desktop is assessed to be 750 W, which balances the initial cost against the future flexibility. A system-level optimization then demonstrates the identification of critical change propagation pathways and illuminates both where and how excess may be included to inhibit change propagation. This key component was identified as the motherboard-central processing unit (CPU) slot in the tested systems.