Towards “Design for Interoperability” in the context of Systems Engineering

Sjarov M, Kißkalt D, Lechler T, Selmaier A, Franke J (2021)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2021


Book Volume: 96

Pages Range: 145-150

DOI: 10.1016/j.procir.2021.01.067


In product development, early decisions made within the requirements specification and design phase have significant impact on overall functionality, quality and lifecycle cost of the product. In Systems Engineering, these oftentimes iterative design phases are steered by underlying development models, providing processes, guidelines and best practices. One family of guidelines are the “Design for X” (DfX) tools or principles. In the development of mechatronic systems e.g. production systems, traditionally the mechanical, electric and software domain are to be distinguished. Over time, driven by trends of digitalization, communication and interconnection of systems, the product innovation and thus the required development effort has been shifting from the mechanical domain towards the software domain. The question of system interoperability thereby is of a fundamental nature. This is especially relevant within the current paradigms of Industry 4.0 and the Digital Twin.

To reflect the growing importance of interoperability (i.e. the ability of systems to purposefully interchange interpretable information) as a requirement for the product within the design phase of technical systems, this paper introduces “Design for Interoperability” (DfIOp) as a new DfX principle. First, this is motivated by the ever-growing importance of information technology for current and future products. Then, the main contribution of the paper is the combination of the state of the art in the research domains of DfX, interoperability, Systems Engineering and Industry 4.0. Consequently, DfIOp will be presented, including a systematization model as well as a first method for its implementation. Further contemplation on DfIOp shows, that it enables derivative principles such as “Design for Data Analytics” and “Design for Digital Twin”. In future research, the underlying models as well as methods of DfIOp are to be further detailed and integrated into the research context.

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How to cite


Sjarov, M., Kißkalt, D., Lechler, T., Selmaier, A., & Franke, J. (2021). Towards “Design for Interoperability” in the context of Systems Engineering. Procedia CIRP, 96, 145-150.


Sjarov, Martin, et al. "Towards “Design for Interoperability” in the context of Systems Engineering." Procedia CIRP 96 (2021): 145-150.

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