Advances in Product Family and Product Platform Design, Timothy W. SimpsonJianxin (Roger) JiaoZahed SiddiqueKatja Hölttä-Otto, Editör, Springer Business Media, New-York, ss.683-706, 2013
This study explores the issue of optimizing the size of a product family as well as designing the product variants of the family in the context of designing a stand for a unique electric violin known as the “Viper.” The study uses collected customer data in order to identify the optimal number of design variants in the product family, generate design alternatives, assign each design to the appropriate customer type, and verify the outcome. The methodology begins with data collection through a survey of Viper players which is analyzed using K-means clustering analysis and segmentation in order to determine the optimal number of variants in the product family. This analysis also defines each customer group and each group’s specific customer requirements. Quality function deployment (QFD) is used to fit design concepts (generated by the requirements and specifications) to synthesized design variants and assign to a customer group. Then, analytic network process (ANP) is used to substantiate the outcome of the study by further verifying each Product Family Member-Customer Group mapping as well as the number of variants. This is achieved by simultaneously fitting the generated design concepts to customer requirements and customer groups through ANP. The ultimate goal of this work is to provide a simple, easy to understand, easy to reproduce, and customizable method for making product family size and design decisions in any industry.