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Product Genetic Engineering

Product Genetic Engineering

Author: Kezheng Huang, Hongwu Chen, Yandong Wang, Zhengjun Song, and Liangmin Lv

Abstract: Creativity and high efficiency are still the essential requirements for product design with wide impact on current design research and engineering practice. Design automation aims to increase the efficiency and quality of design work. Creativity is receiving more attention but with essentially little progress so far, especially in automatic design. The rapid and automatic growth of organisms and the great potential for production of new species that Genetic Engineering shows are the two main reasons that lead to our work. A new design environment – Product Growth Design platform (DARFAD) – has been developed, new concepts such as Product Genetic Engineering (PGE) are proposed, a theoretical PGA framework is discussed, and an example of product design is introduced.

10.1 Introduction

In current product design practice, it is useful to distinguish two basic types of design work. In creative design, new solutions or schemes have to be explored. In routine design, there is a relatively well-structured solution or top-level scheme for the product to be developed, and the design work can be divided into sub-tasks. In a broad sense, design is essentially creative and innovative work based on new requirements, knowledge and experience.

Design Automation

Decomposition and Reconstitution (D&R) is one of the most important principles for design automation, which is developed as an innovation principle for the introduction of creative potential into the design automation system. Based on this principle, the presented theoretical study has established some new design automation methods and principles, such as General Positioning Principle (GPP), ‘Cell Growth’ Design Principle (CGDP) and the D&R Based Design Process Model, in which the traditional design practice and process are decomposed into small steps and reconstituted in a different way.

Product Genetic Engineering

The essential difference between an organism and man-made artifact is that there is a growing mechanism for organism, but none exists for man-made artifacts design. In this work, genetic engineering knowledge is applied to design.

Genetic Engineering is the process of insertion of one or more genes from one organism into the DNA of a different organism. It can be thought of as a cut-and-paste process in which specific gene is cut from a donor organism and pasted into the genetic material of another organism. It is the heritable, directed alteration of an organism. The mainstay of genetic manipulation is the ability to isolate a single DNA sequence from the genome. This can be considered as a series of 4 steps of gene cloning experiment: Generation of DNA fragments, joining to a vector or carrier molecule, introduction into a host cell for amplification , and selection of a required sequence.

10.2 Product Growth Design Platform

‘Cell Growth’ Design Principle

Comparing with organisms, we can consider a product as an organism and a part within a product as a cell. Biology shows that cell division is fundamental to the growing process by which a cell divides to form two daughter cells.

cell_division_principleD&R Principle looks like this


 Gene and its Mechanism

Biologically, a gene is a segment of a cell’s DNA. DNA is the blueprint of life containing codes for the proteins that make up an organism’s specific characteristics including physical appearance, physiological functioning, etc. That is, the segment of DNA that have been associated with specific features or functions of an organism are called genes. A gene is a functional and structural unit of a DNA. Genes consist of structural genes, operational genes and regulator genes according to the functional actions in the process of transcription. The genome is the entire DNA “recipe” for an organism, which comprises a certain numbers of genes of the organism.

According to the Central Dogma in molecular biology, two steps of gene expression are essentially the same in all organisms. The term gene is usually taken to represent the genetic information transcribed into a single RNA molecule, which is in turn translated into a single protein.


Analogical Relations between Organism & Product

  1. Gene in biology      Product ‘Gene’
  2. RNA                             Conceptual Architecture (Visual Concept based on  Functional Surface);
  3. Protein                       Solid Product Element
  4. Cell Coat                    Function Surface
  5. Cell                               Part or component, and
  6. Organism                   Product.

Definition of Product Genome

After a systematic comparison between products and organisms, the hypothesis proposed that there are similar genes in product, which should have:

  • an Automatic growth mechanism;
  • Inheritance – genetically transmit the product characteristics from parent parts to offspring parts;
  • Self organization – communicate and inform each other;
  • Adaptability – allow different environmental constraints and user needs to be satisfied.





AdaptEx: Extending Product LIfe Cycles through Strategic Product Upgrades

AdaptEx: Extending Product life Cycle Through Strategic Product Upgrades

Author: Jeff C. Sand, and Peihua Gu

Abstract: Increasing competition for better product functionality, quality, features, customization, environmental friendliness, lower cost and shorter delivery time will require that product-oriented manufacturing and engineering enterprises optimize the entire product life cycle and become more responsive in developing products. For manufacturing of relatively long life and one of a kind products such as power stations or ships, the manufacturing and construction of such products are influenced by the state of the art technology and knowledge as well as other related issues. To maintain or even enhance such engineering systems performance in their life cycles, technical upgrading is necessary. Therefore, it requires a new design thinking process as well as methodology to address these challenges. This paper proposes a new design approach using Adaptive Design Extension (AdaptEx0 that incorporates key design information throughout the entire life cycle of the engineering systems. This helps ensure that the original function and design specifications are not lost or altered due to the operation, maintenance or upgrades made to the system during its life cycle. As the speed of technological change will be continuously increasing, this new methodology will allow design engineers to accommodate for this radical change in technology and be able to implement in to the design. AdaptEx will therefore focus on allowing design enhancements to continue throughout the product life cycle. This paper will reveal the need for this type of design engineering development and summarize some of the potential benefits of implementing the AdaptEx process.

The ultimate goal of AdaptEx is to enhance the overall life cycle of a product and allow for optimization to take place through future upgrades and enhancements during the operational phases. In theory this process will allow the design process to continue throughout the entire life cycle of the product from initial design concept through to product decomposition. Thus, it is expected that AdaptEx could lead to the development of a new methodology to design complex large-scale engineering systems.

9.2 The need for Adaptive Design

AdaptEx will focus on two key processes.

  1. The first of which is extension, to both the product life cycle and to design knowledge into the operational phases.
  2. The second is the enhancement of the original design, which will be enhanced through the use of strategic upgrades that will be planned to improve the initial design as well as extend the overall project life cycle.
TRADITIONAL_DESIGN_MODELThe traditional design model.

The graph above is a representation of the traditional design model. The design phase continues until the initial design is completed. The product then enters the operational phases and slowly begins to deteriorate. Product maintenance is implemented to try and keep the product at its original functionality, represented as a maintenance limit. However, as the product progresses through its life cycle it begins to degrade and lose operational functionality.

 9.3 AdaptEx for Large Scale Engineering Systems

The AdaptEx design model

The graphic above represents the AdaptEx method and how design upgrades will play a critical role in the fulfillment of the design enhancement and life cycle extension. The first upgrades that would be implemented would be type 1 upgrades that were planned during the initial design of the product. During the operational phase type 2 upgrades would be used to satisfy new technological and environmental requirements.

A major difference between the AdaptEx model and the traditional model is how the upgrades are able to enhance the design function and extend the product life cycle.

When managing the life-cycle of complex large scale engineering systems such as oil refineries and nuclear reactors, the AdaptEx methodology has enormous potential to improve and optimize their life-cycle.

Compare_Design_ProcessComparison of Traditional and AdaptEx design process

When the AdaptEx process is implemented it can be seen that the upgrades enhance the initial design. When a type 1 upgrade is implemented it is based on information from the design phase of the project. The design information that was used in the design phase will be reused in the operational phase to help optimize the upgrade. This reusable engineering is very important to the AdaptEx process since it allows the upgrades to be implemented efficiently while remaining timely and cost effective.

Within the operational phase upgrades will be used to enhance the project.  Two major types of upgrades will be implemented. The type 1 upgrades are planned upgrades, which were developed during the design phase of the project. This type of upgrade will be used to fix weakness that existed in the original design. The major focus of this type of upgrade will be based on technology, and most of the upgrade will have been defined during the design phase. New considerations will be made to include new features that came to realization during the operation of the facility.

Type 2 upgrades represent new upgrades developed within the operational phase of the project. It is critical that these new upgrades maintain the initial design function and strive to enhance the design and extend the product life.