New publication out! If you do research in any area, you are familiar with the fragmented nature of it. It is hard to grab a big picture of the field and how all the work really links together or builds on each other. In a journal article just published in the ASME Journal of Mechanical Design, professors Kevin and Katja, together with international colleagues, stitch together pieces of research in the field of modularity over the past decade an even more. It is a one stop starting point for anyone new to the field.
Otto, K., Hölttä-Otto, K., Simpson, T.W., Krause, D., Ripperda, S., Moon, S.K., 2016, Global Views on Modular Design Research: Linking Alternative Methods to Support Modular Product Family Concept Development, Journal of Mechanical Design 138 (7), 071101
Modular product platforms have been shown to provide substantial cost and time savings while still allowing companies to offer a variety of products. As a result, a multitude of product platform methods have been developed over the last decade within the design research community. However, comparison and integration of suitable methods is difficult since the methods have, for the most part, been developed in isolation from one another. In reviewing the literature in modularity and product platforms, we create a generic set of thirteen platform design steps for developing a platform concept. We then examine a set of product platform concept development processes used at several different companies, and from this form a generic sequence of the steps. We then associate the various developed methods to the sequence, thereby enabling the chaining together of the various modular and platform design methods developed by the community.