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A Multi-Attribute Utility Theory-Based Approach to Product Line Consolidation and Selection

[+] Author Affiliations
Henri J. Thevenot, Elizabeth D. Steva, Gül E. Okudan, Timothy W. Simpson

Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Paper No. DETC2006-99506, pp. 441-450; 10 pages
  • ASME 2006 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 4a: 18th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, September 10–13, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4258-4 | eISBN: 0-7918-3784-X
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


Concept selection, an important step in the product design process, can also be used when redesigning or consolidating an existing product line for the purpose of effectively selecting a set of products that satisfies customer demands while increasing profits. If product line consolidation is not done properly, it can lead to unsuccessful platforms and ineffective family architectures that yield products that fail to satisfy customer demands. Accordingly, this paper presents a method that facilitates the consolidation of an existing product line using multi-attribute utility theory. The method helps select the subset of products to manufacture based on criteria at the (1) product level (e.g., costs and profits) and (2) product family-level (e.g., component reuse, variety, commonality, market coverage). The application of the proposed method is demonstrated using an existing line of staplers. The resulting decision, namely, the subset of products recommended by the proposed method, would substantially increase profits while minimizing product proliferation and still maintain good market coverage if the decision were implemented.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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