Component reuse in multiple products has become a popular way to take advantage of the economies of scale across a family of products. Amongst electronic system developers there is a desire to use common electronic parts (chips, passive components, and other parts) in multiple products for all the economy of scale reasons generally attributed to platform design. However, the parts in electronic systems (especially those manufactured and supported over significant periods of time), are subject to an array of long-term lifecycle supply chain disruptions that can offset savings due to part commonality depending on the availability of finite resources to resolve problems on multiple products concurrently. In this paper we address the application of product platform design concepts to determine the best reuse of electronic components in products that are subject to long-term supply chain disruptions such as reliability and obsolescence issues. A detailed total cost of ownership model for electronic parts is coupled with a finite resource model to demonstrate that, from a lifecycle cost viewpoint, there is an optimum quantity of products that can use the same part beyond which costs increase. The analysis indicates that the optimum part usage is not volume dependent, but is dependent on the timing of the supply chain disruptions. This work indicates that the risk and timing of supply chain disruptions should be considered in product platform design.

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