A Strategic Module-Based Platform Design Method for Developing Customized Families of Products and Services

Open Access
Moon, Seung Ki
Graduate Program:
Industrial Engineering
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
March 06, 2008
Committee Members:
  • Timothy William Simpson, Committee Chair
  • Soundar Rajan Tirupatikumara, Committee Chair
  • David Arthur Nembhard, Committee Member
  • Dongwon Lee, Committee Member
  • Product Family Design
  • Service Family Design
  • Module-based Platform
  • Data Mining
  • Decision-Making
  • Multi-Agent System
  • Mass Customization
For mass customization environments, many companies are increasing their efforts to reduce cost and time for developing new products and services while satisfying individual customer needs. Most products these days include bundles of services to help satisfy customers¡¯ needs and remain competitive in the market. Product family design facilitates mass customization by allowing highly differentiated products to be developed around a platform while targeting products to distinct market segments. Therefore, effective platforming of products and services is a cost-effective way to achieve mass customization. The objective in this research is to develop a Strategic Module-based Platform Design Method (SMPDM) to determine a platform design strategy to support product and service family design in a dynamic and uncertain environment. The proposed method extends concepts from product family and product platform design into service design, emphasizing a bottom-up approach and module-based design. Ontologies and object-oriented concepts are used to represent products and services and enable sharing and reuse of design information. Data mining techniques are used to identify a platform and modules by utilizing design information stored in a large database or repository. To determine a platform for family design in a dynamic and uncertain market environment, the SMPDM uses agent-based decision-making, involving a market-based negotiation mechanism and a game theoretic approach based on module-based platform concepts and a mathematical model. To demonstrate and validate the usefulness of the proposed method, it is applied to two industrial examples (a family of power tools and a family of checking account services) and tested in multiple scenario-based experiments. The SMPDM provides an optimal platform design strategy that can be adapted to various dynamic and uncertain market environments. Therefore, the SMPDM can help develop design strategies to manage and create a cost-effective variety of products and services based on a platform in support of mass customization.