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International Conference on Complex Systems (ICCS2006)

Assessing Platform Space through Commonality Indices

Deepak Tickoo
University of Missouri-Rolla, Department of Engineering Mana

Dr. Venkat Allada
University of Missouri-Rolla, Department of Engineering Management & Systems Engineering

     Full text: Not available
     Last modified: May 2, 2006

Assessing Platform Space through Commonality Indices
Commonality indices have been used by companies as a surrogate measure to assess economies of scale. Two indices have been developed in this paper -one at conceptual level of design which is the Conceptual Architecture Commonality Index (CACI) and one at structural level which is the Structural Architecture Commonality Index (SACI).The method given in this paper is different from earlier works in that it develops commonality index at the conceptual as well as the structural architecture level covering not only the architectural chunks but also some other factors such as cost and demand. In this way these commonality indices will be of use not only to designers but also to planners and marketing personnel. The indices developed give adequate information to planners regarding the cost commonality of parts shared by different variants. Conscious decisions can be taken regarding part commonization/distinction keeping in view the part cost. Similarly, the market analysts can make a conscious decision about which variants to platform, given enough information about their market share. This information is provided by the weighted demand commonality index. The method discussed in this paper builds upon the earlier work on commonality indices by Virdi and Allada (2005).The commonality indices are computed based on an attribute ranking scale, i.e. to evaluate how similar the variants under consideration are when ranked on a relevant attribute scale. Nine attributes have been checked each at conceptual (conceptual chunk name, interactions etc) and structural level (structural chunk, interfaces etc). The authors have used these indices to develop platform commonality. This is the commonality which designers and product planners will use for taking platform decisions in a product family. The authors recommend using the approach of developing conceptual and structural commonality indices in case of innovative products while only structural indices will be needed in mature products. The methodology has been explained with the help of an illustrative example of a family of Color Picture Tubes (CPTs).

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