A comparison of commonality indices for product family design

Henri J. Thevenot, Timothy W. Simpson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Today's highly competitive and global marketplace is redefining the way companies do business: many companies are being faced with the challenge of providing as much variety as possible for the market with as little variety as possible between products. In order to achieve this, product families have been developed, allowing the realization of a sufficient variety of products to meet the customers' demands while keeping costs relatively low. The challenge when designing a family of products is in resolving the tradeoff between product commonality and distinctiveness: if commonality is too high, products lack distinctiveness, and their individual performance is not optimized; on the other hand, if commonality is too low, manufacturing costs will increase dramatically. Toward this end, several commonality indices have been proposed to assess the amount of commonality within a product family. In this paper, we compare and contrast six of the commonality indices from the literature based on their ease of data collection, repeatability and consistency. Eight families of products are dissected and analyzed, and the commonality of each product family is computed using each commonality index. The results are then analyzed and compared, and recommendations are given on their usefulness for product family design. This study lays a foundation for understanding the relationship between different platform leveraging strategies and the resulting degree of commonality within a product family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages169-178
Number of pages10
DOIs
StatePublished - 2004
Event2004 ASME Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference - Salt Lake City, UT, United States
Duration: Sep 28 2004Oct 2 2004

Other

Other2004 ASME Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
CountryUnited States
CitySalt Lake City, UT
Period9/28/0410/2/04

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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