These years many companies are changing their product development from single to multi product development, meaning that not only one product is developed but product families. There are many reasons for this change, but among the most important ones are reduction of time to market, total cost reduction, ability to launch a wider product portfolio without increasing resources and reduction of complexity within the whole company. To support the multiple product development process, platform based product development has in many companies such as Philips, VW, Ford etc. proven to be a very effective and efficient tool. Transforming product development from single to multiple product development is a significant change in product development often involving major changes of product models, procedures and organization. In the area of product models a set of new models has to be introduced, e.g. models of the platform including interfaces are necessary. Procedures change because platform based product development requires a clear distinction between preparation (i.e. development of the platform) and development of individual products (i.e. application of the platform). The organization often has to be changed because the nature of developing platforms and applications are very different. In single product development reuse is often determined by individual designers, in multiple product development reuse is to a large degree a management issue. It is difficult for a company to switch from single to multiple product development in one step and therefore the objective of this paper is to identify levels of platform based product development. The structure of this paper is as follows. First the applied terminology for platforms will be briefly explained and then characteristics between single and multi product development will be examined. Based on the identification of the above characteristics five platform levels are described. The research presented in this paper is a result of MSc, Ph.D projects at the Technical University of Denmark and consultancy projects within the organisation of Institute of Product Development. Projects have mainly been carried out in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland.
International Conference on Engineering Design (iced05), 2005
Main Research Area:
15th International Conference on Engineering Design, 2005