Companies manufacturing customized engineer-to-order (ETO) products are decelerated by repetitive work, misinterpretations and uncoordinated processes which prohibits the achievement of mass customization. Being able to deliver customized product with low costs and fast delivery times, the concept of mass customization, is a prerequisite for maintained competitiveness with the demands from the market today. This paper presents a product configuration system (PCS) for customized products using design automation enabled by knowledge-based engineering (KBE) and enterprise-wide optimization (EWO). With this approach, the process from sales to delivery of customized products can be extensively rationalized. The PCS consists of two modules. The first being a configurator for use in the sales quotation stage. Here, customer requirements are captured, and used to generate alternatives feasible for the customer context. Thereby, correct quotations can be generated at the sales instance. The second module is the enterprise-wide configurator where accepted orders are concurrently optimized for their detailed and final design, considering the current state of the production and concurrent sales cases in the company. In other terms, instead of adapting the supply chain according to the design of the products in the order entry, the design of the products in the order entry are adapted according to the state of the supply chain. Thereby, resources can be efficiently utilized to the benefit of both the customer and the company, with reduced costs and delivery times. An implementation of the PCS in a case concerning spiral staircases, an ETO product, has shown potential of substantially reducing resources and errors and enable a reliable process supporting achievement of mass customization.

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