Research Papers

A Market-Based Design Strategy for a Universal Product Family

[+] Author and Article Information
Seung Ki Moon

School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering,  Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798skmoon@ntu.edu.sg

Daniel A. McAdams1

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  Texas A&M University, MS3123 College Station, TX 77843dmcadams@tamu.edu


Corresponding author.

J. Mech. Des 134(11), 111007 (Oct 02, 2012) (11 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4007395 History: Received January 17, 2012; Revised July 31, 2012; Published October 02, 2012; Online October 02, 2012

Companies that generate a variety of products and services are creating, and increasing research on, mass-customized products in order to satisfy customers’ specific needs. Currently, the majority of effort is focused on consumers who are without disabilities. The research presented here is motivated by the need to provide a basis of product design methods for users with some disability—often called universal design (UD). Product family design is a way to achieve cost-effective mass customization by allowing highly differentiated products serving distinct market segments to be developed from a common platform. By extending concepts from product family design and mass customization to universal design, we propose a method for developing and evaluating a universal product family within uncertain market environments. We will model design strategies for a universal product family as a market economy where product family platform configurations are generated through market segments based on a product platform and customers’ preferences. A coalitional game is employed to evaluate which design strategies provide more benefit when included in the platform based on the marginal profit contribution of each strategy. To demonstrate an implementation of the proposed method, we use a case study involving a family of light-duty trucks.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Topics: Design
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Figure 1

Process of developing a universal product family

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Figure 2

Three platform leveraging strategies for universal design (Adapted from Ref. [34])

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Figure 3

Module categorization and platform based product configuration concepts

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Figure 8

Motion functions for supporting a swivel seat

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Figure 9

Seven major modules for a swivel lift-up seat [47]

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Figure 10

Preference and design quality for typical and swivel lift-up seats

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Figure 4

Relationship between preference and quality for a universal product

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Figure 5

Market segmentation grids for the three trucks

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Figure 6

H5 and H130 of Caravan 2006 model

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Figure 7

Seat height and extension height for the light-duty truck and the seat height of the 1% elderly U.S. woman (age 65–79)



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