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A Framework for Designing Balanced Product Platforms by Estimating Versatility of Components

[+] Author Affiliations
Chang Muk Kang, Yoo Suk Hong

Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea

Paper No. DETC2007-35879, pp. 1071-1082; 12 pages
  • ASME 2007 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 6: 33rd Design Automation Conference, Parts A and B
  • Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, September 4–7, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4807-8 | eISBN: 0-7918-3806-4
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME


Mass customization is a common trend in industries and platform-based product family strategy is widely used for an efficient mass customization. While commonization of a platform is a viable mean for reducing the customization cost, it also has a risk of losing some market share due to its limitation on differentiating individual products. This trade-off requires a platform to be balanced between commonality and distinctiveness of products. In this paper, we focus on developing a versatile platform that maximizes the use of common components while facilitating differentiations which are highly effective for increasing the market share of a product family. A versatile platform is comprised of versatile components which do not restrict effective differentiations even if it is commonized. To determine a certain component is versatile or not, we considered which specifications are preferred to be differentiated in the market and how much change would be required for the component to differentiate a specification. With these two measures, we define a versatility index representing how versatile a component is. Components with higher versatility values are appropriate to be platformized since they are less likely to be changed for differentiations. Furthermore, identification of non-versatile components may provide a clue for improving architecture of the product. The proposed method is applied to the PC mouse design, which yields reasonable alternatives for platform design.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME
Topics: Design



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