A review of recent literature in product family design and platform-based product development

Zhila Pirmoradi, G. Gary Wang, Timothy W. Simpson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

77 Scopus citations


Increased demand for a greater variety of consumer products has forced many companies to rethink their strategies to offer more product variants. For manufacturers, producing a variety of products can satisfy this increasing demand and help companies gain more of market share; however, increased variety can lead to higher design and production costs as well as longer lead times for new variants. As a result, a trade-off arises between cost-effectiveness and satisfying diverse customer demand. Research has found that such a trade-off can be properly managed by exploiting product family design (PFD) and platform-based product development, an area that has been widely studied for the past two decades. New approaches have been proposed to address different issues related to PFD and platform development. Performance of these approaches has been assessed through case studies and applications to different industry sectors. This chapter focuses on reviewing the research in this field to classify recent advancements in PFD and platform development. We identify new achievements with regard to multiple aspects of PFD: customer involvement in design, market-driven studies, metrics for assessing platforms and families, indices for platform and family design, product family optimization issues, platform development issues, and, finally, issues relevant to supporting future platform design. Through a comparison with previous research studies, we identify ongoing challenges in this field along with potential directions for new research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Product Family and Product Platform Design
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Applications
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages46
ISBN (Electronic)9781461479376
ISBN (Print)9781461479369
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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