Prototype implementation of a virtual product family through a web-based custom product specification system
by Ronald S. Farrell, Timothy W. Simpson, Gary M. Stump, Jaeil Park
International Journal of Mass Customisation (IJMASSC), Vol. 2, No. 1/2, 2007

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.

Online publication date: Fri, 16-Mar-2007

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