This paper addresses some limitations of the axiomatic design theory (AD) when designing complex products and matching manufacturing systems. The conclusion is that, for complex manufacturing systems, this cannot be done in such a straightforward way as described in literature. The original method is best used for manufacturing of parts only, i.e. to find the appropriate process variables (PVs).

In the case of complex manufacturing systems, a one-to-one mapping between physical domain and process domain is not possible since not all design parameters (DP) are components. Therefore, an additional process requirement domain (PR), proposed earlier, has been used. With it, the components are extracted from the DP hierarchy and mapped to different spaces in the manufacturing world. In these spaces, PRs and PVs are selected when designing the manufacturing system. An example is given to show the deficiencies and how to use the suggested modifications.

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