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Supporting the utilization of a platform approach in the engineer-to-order supplier industry
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Product Development.
2017 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Manufacturing companies are continuously faced with requirements regarding technology novelty, shorter time to market, a higher level of functionality, and lower prices for their products. This is especially true of suppliers that develop and manufacture highly customized products within the automotive industry. It is not uncommon that a request for a new product or subsystem goes out to several suppliers and that the one that can deliver the product most quickly and at the lowest price receives the contract. It is therefore vital for any supplier to answer to quotation requests rapidly and with a high level of precision while also ensuring that company assets are used efficiently. Other issues that apply to suppliers in the automotive industry are heavily fluctuating requirements during development projects, each customer’s individual preferences, and the ever changing interfaces with the OEM product with which the supplier’s product is to be integrated. Platform strategies have been widely accepted in industry to serve a wide product variety while maintaining business efficiency. However, the challenge of applying a platform strategy at the supplier level in the face of the reality described above has not been fully investigated. Platform approaches tend to require a focused development of the platform, which in turn requires some knowledge about which future variants are to be derived from the platform. The research presented in this thesis investigates the state of practice in industry regarding the challenges, needs, and current use of platforms. To respond to the identified need, a platform approach is proposed that expands the scope of what a product platform has traditionally contained. This is undertaken to aid in the development of highly customized products when physical modules or component scalability does not suffice. The platform approach provides a coherent environment for heterogeneous design assets to be used in product development, supporting both the activity of designing and off-the-shelf solutions. The approach is based on identifying and modelling generic product items that are associated with descriptions governing their design. By describing the outcome of technology and product development like finished designs, design guidelines, constraints, etc., in a standardized format, the platform continues to evolve. To aid in using the platform approach, a support system called Design Platform Manager is introduced at a company active as a secondtier supplier in the automotive industry. The system enables the creation of generic product items that can be structured, instantiated, and associated with descriptions, which aids in realizing product variants. The aim of the platform approach and tool is to support the quotation and continued design processes by identifying valid knowledge to use as circumstances, such as requirement changes or new design iterations, warrant. The support tool and overarching model have been evaluated by company representatives, who reported good results.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: Jönköping University, School of Engineering , 2017. , 62 p.
Series
JTH Dissertation Series, 20
Keyword [en]
Product Development, Engineering Design, Quotation, Customization, Supplier, Platform, Design Reuse, Adapt, Concurrent Engineering
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-35166ISBN: 978-91-87289-21-7 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-35166DiVA: diva2:1079468
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-03-08 Created: 2017-03-08 Last updated: 2017-03-08Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Managing Fluctuating Requirements by Platforms Defined in the Interface Between Technology and Product Development
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Managing Fluctuating Requirements by Platforms Defined in the Interface Between Technology and Product Development
Show others...
2014 (English)In: Advances in Transdisciplinary Engineering: Moving Integrated Product Development to Service Clouds in the Global Economy / [ed] Cha, J., Chou, S.-Y., Stjepandić, J. , Curran, R., Xu, W., Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2014, 424-433 p.Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Product platforms play an important role for the efficient customisation and variant forming of products in many companies. In this paper four different companies ranging from OEM to B2B suppliers have been interviewed on how they engage in technology and product development, create and maintain product platforms and how they respond to the changing requirements on the platforms and on the products and product families derived from them. The objective is to find how product platforms are used to meet the demands of efficient product customisation. The companies all have identifiable product platforms and established processes for product development. However, there are differences in how they define technology development, how the platforms are created, maintained, replaced and what the platforms contain. The introduction of new technology into the platforms and how the platforms are used from a Lean product development perspective has been of interest in the survey as reported in the paper.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2014
Keyword
Product platform, Product development, Technology development, Customisation, Requirements
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-24438 (URN)10.3233/978-1-61499-440-4-424 (DOI)978-1-61499-440-4 (ISBN)978-1-61499-439-8 (ISBN)
Conference
The 21st ISPE International Conference on Concurrent Engineering, 8-11 September, Beijing, China
Projects
ChaSE
Funder
VINNOVA
Available from: 2014-08-26 Created: 2014-08-26 Last updated: 2017-05-11Bibliographically approved
2. Introducing Design Descriptions on Different Levels of Concretisation in a Platform Definition
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Introducing Design Descriptions on Different Levels of Concretisation in a Platform Definition
2015 (English)In: Product Lifecycle Management in the Era of Internet of Things / [ed] Bouras, A., Eynard, B., Foufou, S., Thoben, K.-D., Springer, 2015, 800-810 p.Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Product platforms has been widely accepted in industry as a means to reach both high product variety while maintaining business efficiency. For suppliers of highly customised products, however, the development of a platform based upon predefined modules is a challenge. This is due to the large differ-ences between the various systems their products are to be integrated into and the customer's individual preferences. What is common for most platform descriptions is the high level of concretisation, such as predefined modules, they are built upon, but how can companies act when that is not possible? Are there other principles that can be used for the definition of a product platform? This paper presents a concept to incorporate other types of descriptions of different levels of concretisation into a product platform. Parts of the concept has been realised in a computer support tool and tested at a case company in order to improve their quotation process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2015
Series
IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology
Keyword
Product platform, quotation, engineering design, reuse, design rationale
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-27723 (URN)978-3-319-33110-2 (ISBN)978-3-319-33111-9 (ISBN)
External cooperation:
Conference
12th IFIP WG 5.1 International Conference, PLM 2015, Doha, October 19-21, 2015.
Projects
ChaSE
Funder
VINNOVA
Available from: 2015-08-18 Created: 2015-08-18 Last updated: 2017-03-08Bibliographically approved
3. A platform model for suppliers of customized systems: Creating an ability to master fluctuating requirements
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A platform model for suppliers of customized systems: Creating an ability to master fluctuating requirements
2016 (English)In: Proceedings of the ASME 2016 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC/CIE 2016, Charlotte, August 21-24, 2016., 2016Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Companies developing highly customized products within the supplier industry are continuously faced with fluctuating requirements during both the quotation process and continued development. This research proposes a platform approach to aid suppliers when modularity or platform scalability do not suffice. The platform approach, Design Platform, focuses on descriptions that not only contain information about tangible components and systems but also information, knowledge and methods supporting the actual design of the product. A support system called Design Platform Manager has been developed to aid in using the platform approach and is introduced at a supplier active in the automotive industry. The system enables creation of generic product items that can be structured and instantiated to become product variants as well as Design Elements that are blocks of knowledge that describe a design or supports the activity of designing. A first evaluation is made that overall shows good result according to the company representatives.

Keyword
Quotation, Customization, Platform, Requirements, Supplier, Engineering Design
National Category
Other Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-31567 (URN)000393001500031 ()2-s2.0-85007317943 (Scopus ID)
Conference
IDETC/CIE 2016, International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers & Information in Engineering Conference
Available from: 2016-08-29 Created: 2016-08-29 Last updated: 2017-03-08Bibliographically approved
4. Introducing a platform approach at a supplier for efficient design of highly customized systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Introducing a platform approach at a supplier for efficient design of highly customized systems
2017 (English)Article in journal (Other academic) Submitted
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-35168 (URN)
Available from: 2017-03-08 Created: 2017-03-08 Last updated: 2017-03-08

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