Good product line architecture design principles

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: Mortensen, Niels Henrik; Løkkegaard, Martin
Series: ICED
Institution: Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
Section: Product, Services and Systems Design
Page(s): 141-150
ISBN: 978-1-904670-91-9
ISSN: 2220-4342


Based on existing research concerning product architectures Du et al. (2001), Ericsson and Erixon (1999), Levandowski et al.(2014), Bruun et al. (2015) and studies of more than 200 product architecture projects across a variety of industries, this paper defines ten central principles for design of product line architectures. The first and most important principle is to identify the right number of product architectures to cover a particular market. Having too few or too many architectures can be extremely damaging to profitability and time to market for new products. Despite the importance of having the right set of product architectures, important architecture decisions are often made in individual projects. This is a risky approach, since the total market coverage is not considered, implying that product architectures may overlap or there are areas between product architectures which are not covered. Furthermore, the full benefits of synergies in terms of e.g. increased module/part production volume, increased purchase volume and reduced CAPEX (CAPital EXpenditures) are not harvested.

Keywords: Platform strategies, Product architecture, Product families


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