A Two-Stage Model of Adaptable Product Platform for Engineering-to-Order Configuration Design
Journal article, 2015
Product platforms are used to enable mass-customization to serve a large number of different market segments. The products are configured-to-order, meaning they are compiled using a variety of pre-developed building blocks. However, the building blocks that make up a traditional platform can only serve customer requirements that are known. Engineering-to-order development serves companies where customer requirements vary frequently. Here, designs are tailored to fit specific customer requirements upon request, an approach which is time consuming if serving a large number of different customers.
This paper presents an approach for engineering-to-order configuration design. It comprises a two-stage model that enables design reuse while simultaneously keeping flexibility to manage changes in customer requirements. The proposed artifact model is configured modularly to progress the design work and to create an architecture to work with, and scalable flexibility is maintained until the customer requirements are considered stable enough to optimize the final design.
An illustrative case shows the approach’s feasibility to two-stage configuration of a rear frame of a jet engine. While using over-all design considerations to select modules, trade-off curves are used for final scalable configuration. A change in customer requirements is accommodated by scalable flexibility, thereby creating an adaptable product platform.