Incorporating security considerations into optimal product architecture and component sharing decision in product family design

Alvaro J. Rojas Arciniegas, Harrison M. Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Selecting the appropriate components to share in product family design is not a trivial decision; especially when a firm wants to protect the most sensitive information contained in their products from being exposed to users, third-party manufacturers, or undesirable agents. This article proposes tools to help designers identify sets of components containing sensitive information, as well as components that are candidates for sharing amongst the family. It also finds the most desirable component arrangement in each product that facilitates sharing while protecting the sensitive information that has been previously identified. The proposed framework is applied to three printers in which the architecture used for the ink cartridges and printheads are significantly different. Third-party manufacturers and remanufacturers offer their own alternatives for these subsystems (ink cartridges and printheads) since the customer for printer supplies is always looking for a cheaper alternative; meanwhile, the original equipment manufacturers attempt to secure their products and retain their customers with original supplies. The functional description of the system is analysed to identify the sensitive components for each printer; then, the optimal clustering strategy is found, as well as the set of components that are candidates for sharing, according to their connectivity and the security considerations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-74
Number of pages20
JournalEngineering Optimization
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


  • component sharing
  • information hiding
  • product architecture
  • product family design
  • product security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Control and Optimization
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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