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A Multi-Criteria Framework for Screening Preliminary Product Platform Concepts

[+] Author Affiliations
Kevin Otto

Product Genesis, Inc., Cambridge, MA

Katja Hölttä

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

Paper No. DETC2004-57256, pp. 125-136; 12 pages
  • ASME 2004 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3a: 16th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Salt Lake City, Utah, USA, September 28–October 2, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4696-2 | eISBN: 0-7918-3742-4
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


A platform must effectively support multiple product variants over a prolonged period of time. This makes platform concept evaluation a more challenging task than a single product concept evaluation. Existing platform methods develop specific criteria in depth, yet an evaluation of alternative platforms should be based on a broad set of criteria. Based on expert interviews, personal experience, and a literature search we propose here a framework of 19 metrics for multi-criteria platform evaluation. The metrics are group into six categories: customer, variety, flexibility, complexity, organization, and after-sale. The method is focused on the early platform architecture phase, before proof-of-concept prototyping. However, it can equally be used subsequently for platform refinement when more data becomes available. We demonstrate our framework using a cordless drill family as an exemplary platform.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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