Technical Brief

An Approach to Evaluate the Profitability of Component Commonality

[+] Author and Article Information
Shun Takai

Department of Technology,
Northern Illinois University,
DeKalb, IL 60115
e-mail: stakai@niu.edu

Sankar Sengupta

Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering,
Oakland University,
Rochester, MI 48309
e-mail: sengupta@oakland.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Design Automation Committee of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF MECHANICAL DESIGN. Manuscript received May 25, 2016; final manuscript received April 5, 2017; published online May 18, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Gul E. Okudan Kremer.

J. Mech. Des 139(7), 074501 (May 18, 2017) (6 pages) Paper No: MD-16-1388; doi: 10.1115/1.4036644 History: Received May 25, 2016; Revised April 05, 2017

Commonality or the use of same components (parts, assemblies, or subsystems) among multiple products can reduce component inventory and simplify processes and logistics while accommodating variations in product demand. Excessive commonality, however, causes some products to use high-performance components and increase product cost. This paper presents an approach for evaluating profitability of component commonality by integrating commonality and supply chain decisions. The proposed approach is demonstrated using commonality of electric-bicycle motors as an illustrative example. This paper presents a sensitivity analysis of the optimum commonality with respect to motor cost, demand variability, inventory-tracking cost, and inventory-ordering cost.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.


Collier, D. A. , 1981, “ The Measurement and Operating Benefits of Component Part Commonality,” Decis. Sci., 12(1), pp. 85–96. [CrossRef]
Lee, H. L. , 1993, “ Design for Supply Chain Management: Concepts and Examples,” Perspectives in Operations Management, R. K. Sarin , ed., Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, MA, pp. 45–65.
Fixson, S. K. , 2005, “ Product Architecture Assessment: A Tool to Link Product, Process, and Supply Chain Design Decisions,” J. Oper. Manage., 23(3–4), pp. 345–369. [CrossRef]
Kota, S. , Sethuraman, K. , and Miller, R. , 2000, “ A Metric for Evaluating Design Commonality in Product Families,” ASME J. Mech. Des., 122(4), pp. 403–410. [CrossRef]
Martin, M. V. , and Ishii, K. , 2002, “ Design for Variety: Developing Standardized and Modularized Product Platform Architectures,” Res. Eng. Des., 13(4), pp. 213–235. [CrossRef]
Alizon, F. , Shooter, S. B. , and Simpson, T. W. , 2009, “ Assessing and Improving Commonality and Diversity Within a Product Family,” Res. Eng. Des., 20(4), pp. 241–253. [CrossRef]
Thevenot, H. J. , and Simpson, T. W. , 2007, “ A Comprehensive Metric for Evaluating Component Commonality in a Product Family,” J. Eng. Des., 18(6), pp. 577–598. [CrossRef]
Lee, H. L. , and Tang, C. S. , 1997, “ Modelling the Costs and Benefits of Delayed Product Differentiation,” Manage. Sci., 43(1), pp. 40–53. [CrossRef]
Huang, G. Q. , Zhang, X. Y. , and Liang, L. , 2005, “ Towards Integrated Optimal Configuration of Platform Products, Manufacturing Processes, and Supply Chains,” J. Oper. Manage., 23(3–4), pp. 267–290. [CrossRef]
Hillier, M. S. , 2002, “ The Costs and Benefits of Commonality in Assemble-to-Order Systems With a (Q,r)-Policy for Component Replenishment,” Eur. J. Oper. Res., 141(3), pp. 570–586. [CrossRef]
Chiu, M.-C. , and Okudan, G. , 2011, “ An Integrative Methodology for Product and Supply Chain Design Decisions at the Product Design Stage,” ASME J. Mech. Des., 133(2), p. 021008. [CrossRef]
Chung, W.-H. , Kremer, G. E. O. , Richard, A. , and Wysk, R. A. , 2014, “ A Modular Design Approach to Improve Product Life Cycle Performance Based on the Optimization of a Closed-Loop Supply Chain,” ASME J. Mech. Des., 136(2), p. 021001. [CrossRef]
Huang, G. Q. , Zhang, X. Y. , and Lo, V. H. Y. , 2007, “ Integrated Configuration of Platform Products and Supply Chains for Mass Customization: A Game-Theoretic Approach,” IEEE Trans. Eng. Manage., 54(1), pp. 156–171. [CrossRef]
Zhang, X. , and Huang, G. Q. , 2010, “ Game-Theoretic Approach to Simultaneous Configuration of Platform Products and Supply Chains With One Manufacturing Firm and Multiple Cooperative Suppliers,” Int. J. Prod. Econ., 124(1), pp. 121–136. [CrossRef]
Fujita, K. , 2014, “ Global Product Family Design: Simultaneous Optimal Design of Module Commonalization and Supply Chain Configuration,” Advances in Product Family and Product Platform Design: Methods & Applications, T. W. Simpson , J. Jiao , Z. Siddique , and K. Hölttä-Otto , eds., Springer, New York.
Thonemann, U. W. , and Brandeau, M. L. , 2000, “ Optimal Commonality in Component Design,” Oper. Res., 48(1), pp. 1–19. [CrossRef]
Ramdas, K. , 2003, “ Managing Product Variety: An Integrative Review and Research Directions,” Prod. Oper. Manage., 12(1), pp. 79–101. [CrossRef]
Howard, R. A. , and Matheson, J. E. , 2005, “ Influence Diagrams,” Decis. Anal., 2(3), pp. 127–143. [CrossRef]
Chopra, S. , and Meindl, P. , 2015, Supply Chain Management: Strategy, Planning, and Operation, 6th ed., Pearson Education Limited, Harlow, UK.


Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Optimization results

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

Commonality-related decisions, parameters, and uncertainties

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

Sensitivity analysis



Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In