A product dissection-based methodology to benchmark product family design alternatives

Henri J. Thevenot, Timothy William Simpson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Today's companies are pressured to develop platform-based product families to increase variety, while keeping production costs low. Determining why a platform works, and alternatively why it does not, is an important step in the successful implementation of product families and product platforms in any industry. Internal and competitive benchmarking is essential to obtain knowledge of how successful product families are implemented, thus avoiding potential pitfalls of a poor product platform design strategy. While the two fields of product family design and benchmarking have been growing rapidly lately, we have found few tools that combine the two for product family benchmarking. To address this emerging need, we introduce the product family benchmarking method (PFbenchmark) to assess product family design alternatives (PFDAs) based on commonality/variety tradeoff and cost analysis. The proposed method is based on product family dissection, and utilizes the Comprehensive Metric for Commonality developed in previous work to assess the level of commonality and variety in each PFDA, as well as the corresponding manufacturing cost. The method compares not only (1) existing PFDAs but also (2) the potential cost savings and commonality/variety improvement after redesign using two plots-the commonality/variety plot and the cost plot-enabling more effective comparisons across PFDAs. An example of benchmarking of two families of valves is presented to demonstrate the proposed method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)410021-410029
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Mechanical Design, Transactions Of the ASME
Volume131
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2009

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Dissection
Benchmarking
Costs
Industry

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Science Applications

Cite this

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A product dissection-based methodology to benchmark product family design alternatives. / Thevenot, Henri J.; Simpson, Timothy William.

In: Journal of Mechanical Design, Transactions Of the ASME, Vol. 131, No. 4, 01.04.2009, p. 410021-410029.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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