Variant management toolbox

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: Braun, Thomas; Strattner, Martin
Series: ICED
Institution: REDPOINT.TESEON AG, Germany
Section: Product, Services and Systems Design
Page(s): 409-418
ISBN: 978-1-904670-91-9
ISSN: 2220-4342


The approach focuses on methods in the field of product variant management. Drawn from the experience over ten years of variant management work in practice, it suggests a toolbox which improves the application of methods and tools in this area. Starting with the definition of "product variant" from the customer's and a company's internal view, a framework for variant management is outlined. The framework describes, how product features can be translated into component variants. The toolbox for variant management consists of several methods and tools. The presented framework serves as an ordering scheme for this methods and tools. The toolbox includes analytic methods, measures and design principles. To illustrate the application of the variant management toolbox a practical example is given by the concept design of axial piston pumps with a focus on a variant-reduced product structure. Particularly the architecture matrix and the variant-optimized design are carried out in the example. Finally, an outlook raises the question, how the toolbox can be subject to digital transformation.

Keywords: Design methods, Design practice, Product architecture, Innovation


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