Title: Implementing a product platform in 35 man-days: the visual thinking approach

Authors: Niels Henrik Mortensen, Rasmus Pedersen, Ole Fiil Nielsen, Ulf Harlou, Morten Holst Bogh, Peter Thomsen Hogh, Lars Hvam

Addresses: Technical University of Denmark, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Design and Product Development, Product Architecture Group, Building 404, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark. ' Technical University of Denmark, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Design and Product Development, Product Architecture Group, Building 404, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark. ' Technical University of Denmark, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Design and Product Development, Product Architecture Group, Building 404, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark. ' Technical University of Denmark, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Engineering Design and Product Development, Product Architecture Group, Building 404, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark. ' Grundfos A/S, Poul Due Jensens Vej 7, DK-8800 Bjerringbro, Denmark. ' Grundfos A/S, Poul Due Jensens Vej 7, DK-8800 Bjerringbro, Denmark. ' Department of Manufacturing and Engineering Management, Technical University of Denmark, 2800 Lyngby, Denmark

Abstract: This paper demonstrates how a company can implement a product platform in 35 man-days. Instead of developing a new platform, the main idea of this platform is to make decisions concerning good solutions to a product assortment, essentially by determining what is value-creating variance. The main benefits are reduced costs, reduced lead time and increased ability to focus engineering resources on aspects providing value to the customer. A so-called visual approach has been utilised. By means of a Product Family Master Plan, the content and scope of the platform have been modelled and visualised. This has contributed to commitment on the management and operational levels in the whole chain, from customer to production and delivery.

Keywords: product architecture; product platform; multiproduct development; mass customisation; product modularity; product modularisation; product development; modular products; visualisation; modelling.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMASSC.2008.017142

International Journal of Mass Customisation, 2008 Vol.2 No.3/4, pp.240 - 263

Published online: 15 Feb 2008 *

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