Product family design strategies based on a common core platform have emerged as an efficient and effective means of providing product variety. The main goal in product platform design is to maximize internal commonality within the family while managing the inherent loss in product performance. Therefore, identification and selection of platform variables is a key aspect when designing a family of products. Based on previous research, the Product Platform Constructal Theory Method (PPCTM) provides a systematic approach for developing customizable products, while allowing for multiple levels of commonality, multiple product specifications, and balancing the tradeoffs between commonality and performance. However, selection of platform variables and the modes for managing product variety are not guided by a systematic process in this method. When developing a platform with more than a few variables, a quantitative method is needed for selecting the optimal platform variable hierarchy. In this paper we present an augmented PPCTM which includes sensitivity analysis of platform variables, such that hierarchical rank is conducted based on the impact of the variables on the product performance. This method is applied to the design of a line of customizable finger pumps.

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