Assessment of modular platform potential in complex product portfolios of manufacturing companies

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: Ortlieb, Casimir; Runge, Tim
Series: ICED
Institution: RWTH Aachen, Germany
Section: Product, Services and Systems Design
Page(s): 131-139
ISBN: 978-1-904670-91-9
ISSN: 2220-4342


The globalized economy and the increasing trend of product individualization cause a rising amount of product variants to meet the customer’s demands. An increasing number of companies develop new or adapt existing modular product platforms for their product portfolio as an approach in order to tackle these challenges. To improve the modular platform performance, it is crucial to define its structure in the early planning phase. This paper introduces a holistic approach that supports decision makers by offering transparency throughout the initial planning phase of the modular platform design determining appropriate products that suit on a common platform. The holistic method uses data analytics to describe the products within a portfolio and to detect similarities between customer requirements, functions and components. The introduced method analyses modular platform potential that is being evaluated in order to provide a detailed and profound prioritization of products in scope for the following platform design.

Keywords: Design methodology, Platform strategies, Decision making, Design engineering


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