A study of the product functional structure model for engineer-to-order production

Shingo Akasaka, Jiahua Weng, Shoji Ohta, Rikei Fukumura, Hisashi Onari

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    This study focuses on the engineer-to-order (ETO) manufacturing firms that are required to design an entire product to match the requests of their customers. Typical products include machine tools such as machining centers and drilling machines. Since the customers are not familiar with all product functional specifications, the value of each product functional specification is proposed by the sales staff according to his/her experience. As a result, our target ETO manufacturing firms now face the big problem that the proposed product functional specifications need to be frequently changed not only during the quotation stage, but also after the contract is signed. These changes lead to not only additional costs, but also time loss for design/engineering, production and parts supply departments of the firm. In order to fix the product specifications as soon as possible, in this paper, a product functional structure model is proposed for accurately determining product functional specifications. The model is built by defining customer requirement specifications, product functional specifications, functional structure elements, and evaluating the relationships among the three kinds of specifications. In the first report of this research, drilling machines are taken as an example, and detailed definitions for customer requirement specifications and product functional specifications are determined. Moreover, a constraint detection system is developed to support the sales staff to gather necessary information from the customers and propose accurate product functional specifications to them. By using the product functional structure model, customers' requirements can be defined clearly and impossible specifications of a product can be avoided.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)59-66
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Japan Industrial Management Association
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Customer requirements
    • Engineer-to-order
    • Product functional specifications

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
    • Applied Mathematics
    • Management Science and Operations Research
    • Strategy and Management


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