How to leverage the contradiction between commonality and diversity within a product family has been regarded as one of the crucial problems in Mass Customization. In order to support the process of product family design and optimization, a quantitative methodology for analyzing the relationship between feature commonality of generic components and manufacturing cost is proposed. Firstly, the information representation model for generic components is constructed based on generic bill-of-material (GBOM) and tabular layouts of article characteristics (SML). Then, by interviewing domain-specific experts and according to the relative importance of features and the influence of value difference of feature parameters on manufacturing process, the similarity matrix of generic component instances and overall feature commonality index (FCI) are proposed. After that, the manufacturing cost is estimated by customized activity-based costing (ABC) and the relationship between feature commonality and manufacturing cost is discussed to identify conditions of rational commonality decisions. Finally, a simple case study of rectangular steel plate product family is presented to verify the rationality of the proposed process and indexes.

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