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PPT - Penn State University
ME/IE 546: Designing
Product Families
TR 8:00 - 9:45 a.m.
103 Leonhard
Timothy W. Simpson
Professor of Mechanical & Industrial
Engineering and Engineering Design
The Pennsylvania State University
University Park, PA 16802 USA
http://www.mne.psu.edu/simpson/courses/me546/
office: 314D Leonhard Bldg
phone: (814) 863-7136
email: [email protected]
PENNSTATE
© T. W. SIMPSON
Ever looked inside a Kodak single-use camera?
PENNSTATE
© T. W. SIMPSON
Ever noticed any similarity in Black & Decker’s
Versapack® tools?
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© T. W. SIMPSON
How much commonality exists between
products in the product family?
How does that compare with what
their competitors are doing?
Today’s highly competitive and global marketplace is reshaping the
way many companies do business as rapid innovation and mass
customization offer a new form of competitive advantage. In
response, companies like Sony, Black & Decker,and Kodak have
successfully implemented strategies to design and develop families
of products based on common product platforms to satisfy a wide
variety of customer requirements.
How can a company design and develop an
effective platform-based product family?
PENNSTATE
© T. W. SIMPSON
Syllabus (Tentative)
• Weeks 1-2: Manufacturing Systems and Customer
Demand
Craft Production and the American System of Manufacturing
 Mass Production and Mass Customization

• Weeks 3-4: Product Families and Product Platforms
Definitions and Approaches to Product Family Design
 Examples of Successful Product Families

• Weeks 5-11: Architecting Families of Products
Product Architecture
 Modular Design
 Commonality

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© T. W. SIMPSON
Syllabus (cont.)
• Weeks 5-11: Architecting Families of Products (cont.)
Design for Variety
 Robust Design
 Scalable Product Platforms
 Product Family Optimization

• Weeks 12-14: Manufacturing Considerations during
Product Family Design
Design for Manufacturing and Assembly
 Design for Mass Customization
 Supply Chain Management and Product Differentiation
Postponement

• Week 15: Wrap-up and Final Project Presentations
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© T. W. SIMPSON
Why Product Families?
“Since many companies design new products one at a
time, the focus on individual customers and products
often results in a failure to embrace commonality,
compatibility, standardization, or modularization among
different products or product lines.” - Meyers and Lehnerd, 1997
• The end result:

a “mushrooming” or diversification of products and components
with proliferating variety and costs
• To remain competitive, companies are utilizing product
families and product platforms to:
increase product variety
 shorten product lead-times
 reduce cost

PENNSTATE
© T. W. SIMPSON
Sony Walkman® Platform Strategy
• In 1980s, Sony dominated
portable stereo market
with three basic platforms:
WM2, WMDD and WM20
Incremental changes
accounted for only 20-30
of the 250+ models
introduced in the U.S.
Remaining 85% of Sony's models
produced from minor rearrangements
of existing features and cosmetic
redesigns of the external case
Ref: (Sanderson and Uzumeri, 1997)
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© T. W. SIMPSON
Source:
Volkswagen A-Platform
Development Car Division
Audi A3
(3+ 5-door)
Audi TT coupe
Audi TT roadster
VW Golf IV
(3+5
door, station
wagon, convertible,
and Minivan)
VW Bora
VW Beetle
Skoda Octavia
(Bora sedan, coupe,
convertible, and
station wagon)
(New Beetle,
New Beetle
convertible)
(Octavia sedan,
and station wagon)
• VW plans for 19 vehicles based on A-platform
• VW estimates development and investment
cost savings of $1.5 billion/yr using platforms
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Seat Toledo
Successor
(Toledo, coupe, station
wagon, and convertible)
© T. W. SIMPSON
Definition of Key Terms
• What is a product family and a product platform?
• Product family:

a group of related products that share common features,
components, and subsystems; and satisfy a variety of markets
• Product platform:

the set of features, components or subsystems that remain
constant from product to product, within a given product family
• Variant or derivative:

products derived from the product platform through:
– addition, removal, or substitution of one or more modules
( module-based product family)
– scaling or “stretching” the platform in one or more
dimensions ( scale-based product family)
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© T. W. SIMPSON
Product Family Design
Top-down Approach (Proactive):
a company strategically manages and
develops a family of products based on Black &
a product platform and its moduleDecker
and/or scale-based derivatives
 Work by: K. Otto, K. Ulrich, K. Wood,
K. Ishii, M. Tseng

Bottom-up Approach (Reactive):
a company redesigns/consolidates
a group of distinct products by
standardizing components to
improve economies of scale
and reduce inventory
 Work by: D. Rosen, S. Kota, K. Ishii,
Z. Siddique

Sony
Lutron
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© T. W. SIMPSON
Tools and Methods for Product Family Design
• Maps
Product family maps
 Market segmentation grid

• Metrics
Commonality indices
 Platform efficiency and effectiveness

• Methods
Modular design
 Scalable design
 Resolving product family tradeoffs
 Determining product platform extent

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© T. W. SIMPSON
Identify Platform Leveraging Strategy
• Market segmentation grid can be used to identify and
map platform leveraging strategies (Meyer, 1997)
High Cost
High Performance
Mid-Range
What Market Niches
Will Your Product Serve?
Low Cost
Low Performance
Segment A
Segment B
Segment C
Derivative Products
Product Platform
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© T. W. SIMPSON
Example Leveraging Strategies: B&D Cordless
Industry
(Heavy)
Use
MidRange
Home
(Light)
Use
Saws
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Drills & Drivers
Lighting
© T. W. SIMPSON
Commonality Metrics
• Much of focus in product family design is to improve
commonality and standardization within the family
• Why is commonality good?
Better economies of scale (and scope)
 Decrease lead times (and risk) in new product development
 Reduce set-up and retooling time
 Fewer components in inventory
 Fewer parts need to be tested and qualified
 Improves overall product quality

Commonality is a useful metric for product families:
% Commonality = %Cx =
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100 * common X
common X + unique X
© T. W. SIMPSON
Module-Based Product Families
• Modular design is best known approach for effective
product family design

Design a product platform that can be up easily modified by
adding, subtracting, and/or upgrading of modules
• Designing a module-based product family involves
defining its product architecture (Ulrich, 1995):



the arrangement of functional elements
the mapping of functional elements to physical components
the specification of the interfaces among physical components
• Common modules in family form product platform
• Standardized interfaces facilitate addition, substitution,
and removal of modules
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© T. W. SIMPSON
Modularity in the Automotive Industry
Different Modules in
an Automobile
Dashboard
Module
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Source:
• Shimokawa, K.,
Jurgens, U., and
Fujimoto, T. (Eds),
1997, Transforming
Automobile Assembly,
Springer, New York.
© T. W. SIMPSON
Scale-based Product Families
• Develop a product platform that
can be “scaled” or “stretched” in
one or more dimensions to
satisfy a variety of market niches
• Boeing 737 is divided into
3 platforms:
Initial-model (100 and 200)
 Classic (300, 400, and 500)
 Next generation (600, 700,
800, and 900 models)

• The Boeing 777 has also
been designed knowing
that it will be “stretched”
PENNSTATE
© T. W. SIMPSON
Resolving Tradeoffs in Product Family Design
Performance
• Product family design involves the design of multiple
products to maximize commonality within the family
with minimal sacrifice in individual product performance
Individually
Optimized
Designs
Poor
Designs
Best
Designs
Designs
Based on
Common
Platform
How do we ensure that this
tradeoff is “optimal” for us
and our company?
Management
& Marketing
$
Design
Engineering
Manufacturing
& Production
Degree of Commonality
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© T. W. SIMPSON
Closing Remarks
• Product family design is a complex and difficult task:

embodies all of the challenges of product design while adding
the complexity of coordinating the design of multiple products
to improve commonality with minimal performance sacrifice
• The key to a successful product family is the product
platform around which it is derived:
multiple platform leveraging strategies
 module-based product family
 scale-based product family

• A variety of tools and methods are being developed to
facilitate product family and product platform design;
however, there is no silver bullet
PENNSTATE
© T. W. SIMPSON
Course Objectives
Throughout the semester, the following question will be
addressed by the class:
How can product realization teams provide increased product
variety at less cost for a highly competitive, global marketplace?
Within the context of this question, students at the end of
the semester will be able to:
define what is meant by a product family and a product
platform,
 understand the difficulties of realizing mass customized goods
and product families,
 become familiar with and implement state-of-the-art methods
and tools for product family and product platform design, and
 demonstrate the application of this knowledge in the context of
a group project.

PENNSTATE
© T. W. SIMPSON
Course Textbook
• Editors:

Timothy W. Simpson,
Zahed Siddique, &
Jianxin (Roger) Jiao
• Year of Publication:

2005
• Publisher:

Springer (New York)
• Focus:

Methods for designing
product platforms and
product families
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© T. W. SIMPSON
Target Audience
• Our target audience includes:
1. Researchers and Ph.D. students in Mechanical Engineering,
Industrial Engineering, Computer-Integrated Manufacturing,
and related fields in Engineering Management
2. Practitioners involved in Design, Planning and Production in
the manufacturing industry
• We wanted to provide an overview of the more mature
research that has occurred, emphasizing methods for:





developing platform architectures
identifying platform leveraging strategies
positioning products within a family
planning the extent of the product family
optimizing families of products based on platforms
including platform case studies from industry
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© T. W. SIMPSON
Contributing Authors
• Over 30 authors contributed 22 chapters
• Authors span academia as well as industry:

Penn State, MIT, Georgia Tech, Michigan, BYU, Bucknell,
UIUC, University of Oklahoma

Osaka University, Nanyang Technological University, University
of Twente, Chalmers University of Technology

ABB, PRTM, Robust Systems & Strategy, Infotiv,
Hofer & Partner, KPMG Advisory Services
• National and international contributors from:

United States, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland,
Germany, Malta, Japan, Singapore
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© T. W. SIMPSON
Chapter 1: Introduction & Overview
Chapter 1 

Product Variety and Customization

Definitions of Platforms and Product Families

General Approaches to Platform Design

Module-Based Product Families and Examples

Scale-Based Product Families and Examples

Discuss Organization of the Book
• Authors:
–
Timothy W. Simpson, Penn State University
–
Zahed Siddique, Oklahoma University
–
Jianxin (Roger) Jiao, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)
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© T. W. SIMPSON
Pictorial Overview (Chapter 1)
Part IV: Applications
Part IV: Applications
Part
Part
PartI:I:
PartII:
II:
Front
End
Issues
Optimization
Based
Front-End Issues Optimization-BasedMethods
Methods
Part
Part III:
III:
Back
End
Back-End Issues
Issues
Product
Process
Product
Customer Portfolio Functional Platform Physical Platform Process
Domain
Domain
Domain
Domain
Customer
Needs
(CNs)
Functional
Requirements
(FRs)
Design
Parameters
(DPs)
Process
Variables
(PVs)
Customer
Satisfaction
Functionality
Technical
Feasibility
Manufacturability
and Cost
Product Definition
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Product Design
Process Design
© T. W. SIMPSON
Part I: Front-End Issues in Platforming
Chapters 2-7
2: Effective Platform Planning in the Front-End 
–
Daniel Bowman, PRTM
3: Platform-Driven Development of Product Families 
–
Johannes I. M. Halman, University of Twente (Netherlands), Adrian P.
Hofer, Hofer & Partner (Switzerland), and Wim van Vuuren, KPMG
Advisory Services (Malta)
4: Platform Concept Selection 
–
Katja Hölttä-Otto, MIT (UMass-Dartmouth) with Kevin Otto, Robust
Systems and Strategy
5: Platform Leveraging Strategies and Market Segmentation 
–
Tucker Marion and Timothy W. Simpson, Penn State University
6: Product Family Positioning
–
Jianxin Jiao and Yiyang Zhang, Nanyang Technological University
(Singapore)
7: Commonality Indices for Product Families 
–
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Henri J. Thevenot and Timothy W. Simpson, Penn State University
© T. W. SIMPSON
Part II: Optimization-Based Approaches
Chapters 8-12
8: Methods for Optimizing Platforms and Families 
–
Timothy W. Simpson, Penn State University
9: Commonality Decisions in Platform Design 
–
Michael Kokkolaras, Ryan Fellini, and Panos Y. Papalambros,
University of Michigan
10: Product Variety Optimization 
–
Kikuo Fujita, Osaka University (Japan)
11: Analytical Target Cascading in Product Family Design
–
Ryan Fellini, Michael Kokkolaras, and Panos Y. Papalambros,
University of Michigan, with Harrison H. Kim from UIUC
12: Determining Product Platform Extent 
–
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Olivier de Weck, MIT
© T. W. SIMPSON
Part III: Back-End Issues in Platforming
Chapters 13-18
13: Roadmap for Product Architecture Costing 
–
Sebastian K. Fixson, University of Michigan
14: Activity-Based Costing for Product Families 
–
Jaeil Park and Timothy W. Simpson, Penn State University
15: Product Platform Redesign using Platforms
–
Zahed Siddique, University of Oklahoma
16: Process Platforms and Product Configuration 
–
Jianxin (Roger) Jiao, Lianfeng Zhang, and Shaligram Pokharel,
Nanyang Technological University (Singapore)
17: Measuring Shape Commonality
–
Zahed Siddique, University of Oklahoma
18: Process Parameter Platform Design
–
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Christopher B. Williams, Janet K. Allen, David W. Rosen, and Farrokh
Mistree, Georgia Tech
© T. W. SIMPSON
Part IV: Applications
Chapters 19-22
19: Ice Scraper Platforms
at Innovation Factory 
–
Steven B. Shooter,
Bucknell University
Ice dozer
Mini dozer variants
20: Engineering Platforms and Families at ABB 
–
Srinivas Nidamarthi and Harshavardhan Karandikar, ABB (Germany)
21: Product Design Generator at Honeywell 
–
Gregory M. Roach and Jordan J. Cox, BYU
22: Platform Management Practice at Cetetherm
–
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Tobias Holmqvist and Magnus Persson, Chalmers University of
Technology (Sweden) with Karin Uller from Infotiv
© T. W. SIMPSON
Grading
• Individual Homework
20%
• Group Project and Homework Assignments 50%
• Learning Diary and Final Learning Essay
20%
• In-Class Discussion and Participation
10%
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© T. W. SIMPSON
Product Family Dissection and Benchmarking
• Several of the homework assignments involve
dissecting a family of products to benchmark it using
tools and methods discussed in class
• Of 4 models examined:
%CIcomponents = 79-96%
 %CIconnections = 82-94%

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© T. W. SIMPSON
Other Product Families We Have Dissected
Single-Use Cameras
Versapak Tools
Portable Stereo
Corded Drills
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© T. W. SIMPSON
Delayed Product Differentiation
• Bosch manufactures braking systems for GM, Toyota, etc.
What types of partial commonization are most essential for
manufacturing complexity reduction?
 How can our manufacturing strategy best enable savings from
product commonization?
• Study a key component in the braking system, the Master Cylinder:
http://howstuffworks.lycoszone.com/master-brake1.htm

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© T. W. SIMPSON
Incorporate Versapack® into Design Repository
• Researchers at the University of Missouri-Rolla, in
collaboration with NIST, have developed a Design
Repository for storing product information:
http://function.basiceng.umr.edu/Repository_Data
• Current repository only supports individual products.
• Objectives:
Analyze the products in the Versapack® tool set
 Enter the product descriptions in the Design Repository
 Investigate methods for representing product families more
efficiently within the Design Repository

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© T. W. SIMPSON
An Emphasis on Learning
•As you watch this movie, ask yourself:
Is this a funny or sad commentary about our educational practices?
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© T. W. SIMPSON
Learning How to Learn
• I challenge you to take charge of your own learning
• I will present several learning “aids” and “tools” to
facilitate this process
Learning “Box”
Competent
Observe-Reflect-Articulate
(ORA) Diagram:
Incompetent
Observe
Know
You
Know
Know You
Don’t Know
Conscious
Reflect
Don’t Know
You Know
Don’t Know
You
Don’t Know
Unconscious
Articulate
PENNSTATE
© T. W. SIMPSON
Kolb’s Learning Cycle
• Kolb’s model of experiential learning provides a
framework for understanding learning styles
Accomodator
(Asks What If?)
Concrete
Experience
(Feeling)
Quadrant 4
Quadrant 1
Active
Experimentation
(Doing)
Reflective
Observation
(Watching)
Quadrant 3
Coverger
(Asks How?)
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Divergers
(Asks Why?)
Quadrant 2
Abstract
Conceptualization
(Thinking)
Assimilator
(Asks What?)
© T. W. SIMPSON
Learning Styles
• Index of Learning Styles theory was developed by
Dr. Richard Felder at North Carolina State University
• Four dichotomies based upon one’s learning propensity
Visual vs. Verbal
 Sensing vs. Intuitive
 Active vs. Reflective
 Sequential vs. Global

• To determine your learning style preference, go to:

http://www.engr.ncsu.edu/learningstyles/ilsweb.html
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© T. W. SIMPSON
Learning Diary and Final Learning Essay
• I ask that you maintain a “Learning Diary” over the
course of the semester

I want you to reflect on what you have observed in class and
articulate how that relates to learning about how you learn

This should be typed, about ½-page long, and submitted
bi-weekly to the drop box on Angel by 5pm on Thurs 1/15,
1/29, 2/12, 2/26, 3/19, 4/2, 4/16 (5 out of 7 are required)
• At the end of the semester, you will submit a 2-3pg final
learning essay (due 5pm, Fri, 5/1) that summarizes:

what you have learned about your own learning over the
course of the semester

how you will take charge of your own learning in the future
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© T. W. SIMPSON
Assignment 0: Individual Goals and Objectives
• Why are you here?
• List five things you would like to achieve in this course.
• Analyze and make corrections. Change their order?
Refine your thoughts? The first thing you write down
may not be the most important -- upon analysis.
• What do you really want to achieve in this course?
• What is your biggest fear about taking this course?
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© T. W. SIMPSON
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