As markets are globalized and competition among companies increases, corporations strive to remain competitive by focusing their abilities on key parts of a new product, while outsourcing remaining parts to other companies. In these circumstances, relationships with business partners with regard to product design are not rigid and vertical, but rather, flexible and horizontal; thus, partners today can be competitors in the future. Therefore, the intellectual property of a participating company should be protected from other collaborating companies during the product design process. However, this safeguard should not be an obstacle to product design collaboration itself. As a solution to this problem, we propose a method to share a skeleton model among collaborating companies. By using this model, participating companies can share essential data required for the detail design of those components of a product for which they are responsible, while ensuring security of their intellectual property. The feasibility of the proposed method has been demonstrated through experiments in a development scenario involving a tub component of a washing machine. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research
Choose a citation style from the tabs below