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Advances in Mechanical Engineering
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 791071, 12 pages
Research Article

Matrix-Based Conceptual Solution Generation Approach of Multifunction Product

Yuyun Kang1,2,3 and Dunbing Tang1,3

1College of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering, Nanjing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics, Nanjing 210016, China
2College of Mechanical Engineering, Linyi University, Linyi 276005, China
3Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Precision and Micro-Manufacturing Technology, Nanjing 210016, China

Received 11 April 2013; Revised 6 July 2013; Accepted 20 July 2013

Academic Editor: Yu-Shen Liu

Copyright © 2013 Yuyun Kang and Dunbing Tang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In order to integrate two single-function products to a multifunction product, a matrix-based conceptual solution generation approach is proposed in this paper. In the approach, the overall function of a single-function product is decomposed into a number of subfunctions. The sub-functions are described by the functional basis and are used to construct the function model of the single-function product. By analyzing the function models of two single-function products, a functional similarity matrix is constructed based on the quantified similarity indexes of two sub-functions. For indicating the relationship between the sub-functions and the components, a function-component matrix of each single-function product is constructed, and then a component-component matrix of two single-function products can be acquired by multiplying the function-component matrix and the functional similarity matrix. There are three kinds of components’ relationships in the component-component matrix, namely, no-correlation, simple-correlation, and complex-correlation. The components of two single-function products can be, respectively, removed, modified, and reserved according to the different correlation relationships, and a design solution of a new multi-function product can be obtained by combining the reserved and modified components. As a case study, a conceptual solution of a new shaver is acquired under the help of the provided approach.