Similarity-based concept development for modular platform systems

Year: 2013
Editor: Udo Lindemann, Srinivasan V, Yong Se Kim, Sang Won Lee, John Clarkson, Gaetano Cascini
Author: Anggraeni, Nadia; Maltzahn, Sebastian; Anderl, Reiner
Series: ICED
Institution: Department of Computer Integrated Design, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany
Page(s): 041-050
ISBN: 978-1-904670-47-6
ISSN: 2220-4334


Today’s companies are facing the challenge of managing high product variety due to increasing customer demands. This challenge results in a change of product development processes. Platforms and modular strategies are introduced as an approach to deal with increasing product variety. With optimal planning of platform designs and modular systems the effort in dealing with the complexity of multiple product variants can be significantly reduced.

This paper presents a methodological approach aimed at supporting the decision making process in the conceptual phase for the development of new product variants. Based on selected characteristic attributes of product or part variants, a similarity index that allows quantitative comparison of different variants from different modular platforms can be calculated. The main purpose of this method is to derive a clear recommendation regarding the development method of new product variants based on their degree of similarity. The method proposed in this paper can be used for conceptual planning of product, part or assembly variants in all industry areas, such as automotive industry, aircraft industry, or machinery and plant manufacturing industry.

Keywords: Complexity, conceptual design, platform strategies, product variant, modular systems


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