Academic journal article Journal of Digital Information Management

Functional Requirements Analysis-Based Method for Product Platform Design in Axiomatic Design

Academic journal article Journal of Digital Information Management

Functional Requirements Analysis-Based Method for Product Platform Design in Axiomatic Design

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

In today's highly competitive and volatile market, a major competitive advantage for any company is the ability to bring products to market faster. Mass customization is a manufacturing approach to produce customized products based on requirements of individual customers with near mass production efficiency [1]. The product family design based on product platform can rapidly respond to customer individual needs. Product platforms can be classified into two categories: modular platforms and scalable platforms [2]. A modular platform is a collection of components to be shared by all the products in a product family. Different functions in this family are achieved by adding, removing, or substituting attachment modules to/from the platform. A scalable platform is modeled by scalable variables that can satisfy different requirements by being changed. There exists much subjectivity in assigning artificially the type of product platform assigned in advance. It is difficult for the designers to distinguish the modules and scalable platform. Simultaneously, this division for product family can't meet the needs of market segment for the company. So, in this paper, the modular and scalable product platforms are unified as generalized parametric product platform in the view of axiomatic design.

Scholars around the world have devoted considerable efforts to product platform and family design. [3] developed a six-step robust design framework for product family formation. [4] presented a single-stage approach for optimizing a platform and the resulting family of products based on one or more scaling variables. [5] pointed out that the market segmentation grid was useful for both platform development and product family consolidation. [6] introduced the customizability measure to evaluate mass customized designs and their impact to customers and manufacturers. [7] developed an information system to integrate design and manufacturing activities in mass customization. [8] developed a scalable product platform robust design framework that can assist companies in creating product platforms quickly and efficiently. [9] used parametric design to achieve a scalable platform and introduced commonality measures to evaluate product platform and family design.

At present, the existing design methods for product platform don't consider how to make the product better meet customer individual needs from the view of customer needs, so as to ensure the rationality of the design decomposition. Different customer needs drive the difference of function-structure for product, and the variation of customer needs affect the customization degree of product, so the different product in product family should have the different functional requirements (FRs) which are expressed by corresponding characteristic attributes. However, the study on FRs for product from the view of customer needs is little. It is not enough to only analyze customer needs, since the needs for customer to product is that to product function. The designed product should have certain functional requirements, which may be affected by customer needs and design parameters (DPs). This paper analyzes the functional requirements of product in the view of customer needs firstly.

2. Functional requirements analysis of product design

The diversity of products is determined by different customer needs. The function for product in product family are similar, but to meet user's individual requirements, the FRs for product should have certain diversity which include functional diversity and performance diversity, which can be achieved by relevant product structure. The functional diversity is achieved by adding, modifying or removing one or more modules. The performance diversity is achieved by adjusting one or more DPs of product platform, or designing different structures to meet performance requirements.

Kano model proposed by Kano in Japan is customer satisfaction model relating to product quality. …

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