Designing family of products, instead of single products, using a common platform approach has gained momentum in various industries. One of the main challenges faced by companies includes specifying a product family architecture to support the varieties. Designers need to consider different viewpoints related to product, assembly, manufacturing, etc. during the development of the product family architecture. The purpose of this paper is to present a configuration reasoning method to develop a product family architecture that not only satisfy, but also has improved characteristics for different viewpoints. This paper attempts to accomplish these objectives by developing representations for components, modules, product family architecture, and assembly process. The paper also presents mathematical formulations to generate feasible product family architectures, indices for architecture evaluation, rules to ensure feasibility and improve from multiple viewpoints. The application of this configuration reasoning framework is illustrated using identifying product family architecture for a set of coffeemakers.

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