Since parts and systems are closely linked to each other in complex engineering products, a change in a single part or system causes changes in other parts or systems, which in turn propagate through a product. This paper proposes an analytic network process (ANP) approach to measuring the relative importance of parts and modules in a modular product in terms of design change impacts and propagation. Although the primary purpose of the ANP is selection and prioritisation of alternatives, this study applies the ANP to change propagation by exploiting its advantageous feature, taking indirect impacts among elements into account. To begin with, a design dependency network that represents design change relationships among parts and modules is constructed as a network model of the ANP. The ANP procedure is then carried out to derive the relative change impacts (RCIs) of parts and modules. The RCI values can be used for various works in engineering change management.A case study on an automobile system is presented to illustrate the proposed approach. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
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