Tools for the platform designer's toolbox

Fabrice Alizon, Tucker J. Marion, Steven B. Shooter, Timothy W. Simpson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


Over the last three decades, globalization and customers' buying power has forced many manufacturers to produce an increasingly wide variety of products. Previously, one product could answer most needs, and engineering methods and tools focused primarily on design, development, and deployment of a single product. Today's market is much more fragmented, and niche markets can no longer be ignored. Since the traditional approach (i.e., development of individual products resulting in a set of "orphan" products) will increase costs prohibitively, platform-based product design blossomed and has been adopted in many of today's industries. Platform-based product design enables designers to develop a family of products sharing a common platform such that not one product but an entire family is now taken into account, and this new dimension brings more questions and challenges and obsoletes many existing tools and methods. The goal in this paper is to move the industry closer to the state-of-the-art tools and show companies that operational tools exist and work, while highlighting potential future work for researchers in the field. Thus, we provide a clear picture of (1) the new challenges resulting from differences between traditional and newer approaches (i.e., single product vs. a family of products), (2) solutions for product family design, and (3) remaining opportunities for tool development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of ICED 2007, the 16th International Conference on Engineering Design
StatePublished - 2007
Event16th International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED 2007 - Paris, France
Duration: Jul 28 2007Jul 31 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of ICED 2007, the 16th International Conference on Engineering Design
VolumeDS 42


Other16th International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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