Title: Prototype implementation of a virtual product family through a web-based custom product specification system
Authors: Ronald S. Farrell, Timothy W. Simpson, Gary M. Stump, Jaeil Park
Addresses: Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA. ' Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA. ' Applied Research Laboratory, State College, PA 16804, USA. ' Department of Industrial and Information Systems Engineering, Ajou University, Suwon, 443–749, Korea
Abstract: For companies that must provide customised products on demand, it is important that individual customer wants and needs be addressed and incorporated early in the design process. Web-based design interfaces have emerged as useful tools for facilitating customer interactions while providing customer-friendly and cost-effective interfaces. The effectiveness of the interface can be greatly enhanced through the implementation of a strategic customisation process that can proactively react to customer requests. The design process results in a virtual product line that approaches the goal of providing nearly infinite variety at minimal costs. The process provides a basis for a true customisation approach, which is different from the typical mass customisation approach to provide ample but limited product variety a priori for a targeted market. In this paper, we describe a prototypical implementation of a web-based custom product specification system and the underlying strategic design process that is based on a collection of product platforms. The development is illustrated using an example from ongoing research with a company that produces customised valves for the power industry.
Keywords: product platform; mass customisation; web-based design; virtual product family; product specification; prototype implementation.
International Journal of Mass Customisation, 2007 Vol.2 No.1/2, pp.161 - 178
Published online: 16 Mar 2007 *Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article