The number of product varieties offered by manufacturers has increased drastically as a result of the paradigm change from mass production to mass customization. High product variety introduces complexity in manufacturing. In this paper, we discuss product family design to minimize manufacturing complexity in manual, mixed-model assembly systems. A concept of relative complexity is proposed to help system designers making decisions on product family selection. Based on the relative complexity, a model for product variety selection is then proposed to find the best combination of product variants to be provided to the market in order to maximize market share and minimize manufacturing complexity. A numerical example is provided to demonstrate the approach.

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