Methodology for the contextual design of a modular product platform concept

DS 87-3 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 3: Product, Services and Systems Design, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08.2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Schuh, Günther; Riesener, Michael; Barg, Sebastian; Lauf, Hendrik
Series: ICED
Institution: RWTH Aachen, Germany
Section: Product, Services and Systems Design
Page(s): 001-010
ISBN: 978-1-904670-91-9
ISSN: 2220-4342


Due to increased competition and cost pressure in the globalized world, business strategies extensively focus on tailoring products to customer's needs. Hence, many companies are facing shorter product lifecycles, additional product development expenses and a wider product portfolio. Therefore, the modular product platform approach of the automotive industry is often directly transferred on other industries. However, a direct transfer of the automotive approach is likely to lead to missing targets and full potentials of a modular product platform. This circumstance is due to the overall situation of the applying company in terms of the company's exogenously given environment and an individual target system for the modular product platform. To meet the exogenous influencing factors as well as to increase the level of target achievement a priori, this paper introduces a methodology for the contextual design of a modular product platform concept in an early design stage. This concept adapts existing matching concepts and considers the given conditions as well as the targets and therefore is aligned to maximize the context and target conformity.

Keywords: Platform strategies, Product families, Product architecture, Design methodology, Design methods


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