How a German Premium OEM Is Using Product Line Engineering (PLE) to Gain Efficiencies

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Andreas Korff

Instead of building up many similar E/E Architectures in Powertrain, it is much more efficient to create and work in product line models, in which decisions within its variability allow to configure and to generate each product model automatically. Often version or configuration management is used for defining product variants, implementing a clone, and own paradigm. This might work for a few variants, but the effort to maintain the product models grows exponentially with the number of variable functions and features. We show how product line modeling fits very well in the views of system models according to the SMArDT methodology (Specification Method for Architecture, Design, and Test), used at a German Premium OEM, as an orthogonal but integrated perspective. The logical and parametric relations in the variability model enables the engineers to find and repair inconsistencies before the development carries on. In addition, we show how product models can be generated from the product family based on consistent decision sets. These generated product models take over the role of manually developed and maintained product models and are used for further analysis, reviews, model checks, and artifact generation.

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