Product family design involves the concurrent design of multiple products based on a common product platform to satisfy a variety of markets. The success of the resulting product family relies heavily on properly balancing the commonality of the product platform with the individual product performance within the product family. To help resolve this tradeoff, we present the Product Variety Tradeoff Evaluation Method for assessing alternative product platform concepts with varying levels of commonality. Two examples are presented to demonstrate the proposed method at both the detailed and the early stages of design. The redesign of a planetary gear transmission for a family of four cordless drills demonstrates the use of the method in the detailed stages of design, while the design of a family of three General Aviation Aircraft demonstrates the use of the method in the preliminary stages of design. The emphasis in this paper is on the effectiveness of the proposed method in evaluating this tradeoff and not on the results of the examples, per se.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Modeling and Simulation
- Computer Science Applications