Developing Design Templates for Product Platform Focused Design


Product platforms, product families, and modular design are an evolving research area. Many of the theories and concepts proposed serve as powerful tools to industry in reducing the number of specialized components in products, reducing assembly time and accelerating the conceptual and embodiment design stages. In this paper, a structured approach to the modular design of electro-mechanical consumer products is proposed based on a study of the module structure of products. The approach is based on developing product family design templates. These templates are based on prior product design knowledge and the flow and conversion of energy through a product. The templates also carry potential embodiment solution information. Design templates for two product classes, electricity to thermal energy and electricity to rotational energy, have been developed and can be used by designers to undertake design or re-design efforts on products. A group of 16 consumer products from two product families has been used in this study. A clarifying design example is presented.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Modular Design; Product Families; Product Family Design Templates; Product Platforms

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2004 Taylor & Francis, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2004