Redesigning a product family entails carefully balancing the trade-offs between commonality and differentiation that are governed by the underlying platform architecture. Numerous metrics for commonality and variety exist to support product family and product platform design; however, rarely are they used in concert to help redesign platforms and families of products effectively. In this paper, we introduce an integrated approach that uses multiple product family metrics to establish an effective platform redesign strategy. Specifically, we present a detailed procedure to integrate the generational variety index, product line commonality index, and design structure matrix to prioritize components for redesign based on variety and commonality needs in a family of products. While all three of these tools exist in the literature and have been used extensively to support product family design, the novelty in our work lies in their integration to establish a redesign strategy for platform architectures that achieves a better balance between the commonality and variety within a product family. To demonstrate the proposed approach, case studies involving two generations of wireless computer mice and two families of dishwashers are presented. Ongoing and future work is also discussed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering