Global Views on Modular Design Research: Linking Alternative Methods to Support Modular Product Family Concept Development
Modular product platforms have been shown to provide substantial cost and time savings while still allowing companies to offer a variety of products. As a result, a multitude of product platform methods have been developed over the last decade within the design research community. However, comparison and integration of suitable methods is difficult since the methods have, for the most part, been developed in isolation from one another. In reviewing the literature in modularity and product platforms, we create a generic set of 13 platform design steps for developing a platform concept. We then examine a set of product platform concept development processes used at several different companies, and from this form a generic sequence of the steps. We then associate the various developed methods to the sequence, thereby enabling the chaining together of the various modular and platform design methods developed by the community.