Today's highly competitive and volatile marketplace is reshaping the way many companies do business. 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 an entire family of products based on a common product platform to satisfy a wide variety of customer requirements and leverage economies of scale and scope.
Designing products and product families so that they may be customized for the global marketplace and achieving these goals in an abbreviated time period, while maintaining mass production efficiencies, is the key to successful manufacturing operations. Research in this area has matured rapidly over the last decade, and "Product Platform and Product Family Design: Methods and Applications" discusses how product platform and product family design can be used successfully to:
- Increase variety within a product line,
- Shorten manufacturing lead times, and
- Reduce overall costs within a product line.
The material available here serves as both a reference and a hands-on guide for researchers and practitioners devoted to the design, planning and production of families of products. Included are real-life case studies that explain the benefits of platform-based product development.