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A method for product family redesign based on component commonality analysis

by Thevenot, Henri J.

Abstract (Summary)
iii The competitiveness in today’s market forces many companies to rethink the way they design products. Instead of developing one product at a time, manufacturing companies are developing families of products to provide enough variety for the marketplace while keeping costs relatively low. Although the benefits of commonality are widely known, many companies are still not taking full advantage of it when developing new products or redesigning existing ones. One reason is the lack of appropriate methods and useful metrics to assess a product family based on commonality and diversity. This research introduces the first systematic and consistent method to give recommendations during product family redesign using a new commonality index, the Comprehensive Metric for Commonality (CMC). Unlike most of the research, in which the redesign of a product family proceeds in an ad hoc manner, the proposed method improves accuracy, repeatability and robustness of the results by minimizing user input. Moreover, the assessment of the design of a product family using the proposed CMC helps designers resolve the tradeoff between variety and commonality in a product family more thoroughly than with any other existing commonality indices. To demonstrate and validate the usefulness of the proposed method for product family redesign, it is applied to two industry examples (staplers and valves). The proposed research (1) provides a step toward achieving an understanding of the relationships between different platform leveraging strategies and the resulting degree of commonality within a product family, and (2) supplies a systematic and consistent method for product family redesign, including product family dissection and recommendations on the redesign.
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School:Pennsylvania State University

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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