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Product Design Variants and Customization: Dealing With Conflicting Requirements

[+] Author Affiliations
Mahendra Hundal

The University of Vermont, Burlington, VT

Paper No. ESDA2012-82409, pp. 675-682; 8 pages
  • ASME 2012 11th Biennial Conference on Engineering Systems Design and Analysis
  • Volume 3: Advanced Composite Materials and Processing; Robotics; Information Management and PLM; Design Engineering
  • Nantes, France, July 2–4, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: International
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4486-1
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


Product variety is necessary to satisfy the market. The change from a vendor market to a customer market has led to increased competition among manufacturers, benefiting the customer. Accordingly, less busy market niches are sought and more specific customer wishes are fulfilled. Rapid improvements or design of new products generate new incentives to buy. This market trend increases the variety of product variants while simultaneously leading to smaller number and lot size per variant. An increase in the number of variants and a decrease in the lot size tend to lead to longer throughput and delivery times and problems of quality assurance, and to higher direct and indirect costs per variant. The paper discusses this problem and provides a set of recommendations for controlling the multiplicity of variants within an enterprise.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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