Methods for incorporating cost information into platform-based product development
Abstract (Summary)iii Product families and product platforms have the potential to significantly benefit companies if developed properly. For the product family to have commercial value, it is important that designers be aware of managing the trade-offs between the economic benefits and performance losses incurred from having a platform. The product family and product platform are not always developed in consideration of relevant cost information, however, which could improve their economic benefits. In order to develop a cost-effective product family and product platform more proactively, designers need to investigate methods for incorporating cost information into platform-based product development. There are two basic approaches to platform-based product development: (1) bottom-up approach and (2) top-down approach. This dissertation is dedicated to developing two distinct methods for incorporating cost information into these two approaches in order to support platform-based product development. The proposed method for incorporating cost information into bottom-up approaches provides a means for redesigning a set of distinct products around a platform based on relevant cost information. Activity-based costing (ABC), the market segmentation grid, and platform planning are used as tools to estimate production costs, identify market opportunities, and investigate a platform plan to realize a platform across the market segments, respectively. The proposed method is demonstrated using a family of screwdrivers and a family of industrial valves. iv The method for incorporating cost information into top-down approaches to platform-based product development provides a means to strategically manage and develop a family of products using the values of product differentiation to customers and relevant cost information. The market segmentation grid, the Modified House of Quality (MHOQ), ABC, and the Platform Identification Chart are used as tools for identifying market opportunities, target value planning, cost planning, and platform planning for product differentiation, respectively. The proposed method is demonstrated using a family of power tools and a family of ice scrapers. This research focuses on providing answers to a fundamental question, namely, how can we quantify the economic benefits achieved by platform-based product development? Through the research, the proposed methods show a need to integrate all aspects of a company to answer the question, and these can facilitate the integration of distributed work that requires collaboration during platform-based product development.
School Location:USA - Pennsylvania
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication: