Using product dissection to integrate product family design research into the classroom and improve students' understanding of platform commonality

Timothy William Simpson, Henri J. Thevenot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

In this paper we describe a product dissection activity that has been developed for a graduate course on product family design to improve students' understanding of platform commonality. This past spring, the product dissection activity served a second purpose, namely, it provided an opportunity to engage students in product family design research in the classroom by having them participate in a study to evaluate the variability in the Product Line Commonality Index (PCI), a commonality index from the literature. The product dissection activity consisted of five teams dissecting and analyzing three different families of products, each containing four products. Based on their results, we identified three main sources of the variability that occur during the dissection of the products and calculation of the PCI: different levels of dissection, parts omitted from the analysis, and different values for the factors used to compute the PCI. Recommendations for reducing the variability are given based on our findings. Finally, an assessment of the students' learning reveals that the activity significantly improved their understanding of platform commonality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-130
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Engineering Education
Volume23
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Education

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Using product dissection to integrate product family design research into the classroom and improve students' understanding of platform commonality'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this