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Editor: Udo Lindemann, Srinivasan V, Yong Se Kim, Sang Won Lee, John Clarkson, Gaetano Cascini
Author: Schubert, Sebastian; Heller, Jan Erik; van der Beek, Johannes; Feldhusen, Jörg
Institution: RWTH Aachen University, Germany
Analyses and current market development show that more customizable products are required which are competitive to mass produced products. To be competitive, the products have to be cost optimized. A methodology is presented to support the designer in the product line planning in order to achieve customizable and cost optimized products and is presented with help of a case study. The main steps of the methodology are the determination of the product attributes and characteristics which are required by the market. Subsequently, the preferences of characteristics are determined by application of conjoint analysis including 233 respondents. In a next step, the realization effort for each characteristic is assessed. The customers’ preferences are clustered under consideration of the determined efforts. In the case study, three groups are found. For each group a product line is established. Analyzing these product lines, it is shown, that the number of required components can be significantly reduced, while the number of customers’ requirements being fulfilled almost remains constant.