Meaningful Tradeoffs in Product Family Design Considering Monetary and Technical Aspects of Commonality 2005-01-0351
There is a tradeoff in product family design between monetary and technical goals: increasing commonality in the product family tends to lead to cost savings, but also incurs some loss in product performance when compared to designing all member products individually. In this paper, both monetary and technical aspects are taken into account in the commonality decision-making stage of a new method for scaled-based product family design. The new method addresses both the commonality decision, i.e., which variables should be shared among which member products, and the optimal design of individual member products. Cluster analysis is employed to provide guidance for commonality decision making, as well as to significantly reduce computation time. The design of a product family of automotive bumpers serves as a demonstrative example.