Developing product platforms:analysis of the development process
Author(s)Muffatto, Moreno; Roveda, Marco
Several authors have highlighted the importance of companies enhancing their new product development process through a multiproduct strategy. This means planning the development of a product family upon a platform, which allows shorter lead times in developing new derivative models. The platform itself has proven to be more flexible when given a modular architecture, so this shifts attention onto evaluating product platform architecture. This paper analyses three industrial cases in order to draw conclusions on the implementation of platforms and modularisation, and in particular on how they deal with this issue. First of all, an interpretation framework is proposed which defines the element taking into account managing with platforms. Secondly, the achieved results in terms of platform flexibility are studied. The paper measures them through analysing the way in which the trade-off between distinctiveness and commonality is dealt with. Finally, since the ability of firms to develop robust product platforms resides in NPD process management and organisation, organisational settings and process flows are examined. ? 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Modularity, Product platform, New product development (NPD), Multiple industry