The design process of product variants involves complicated task planning that needs to leverage a number of design activities and resources. A comprehensive product variant design process model is imperative for capturing the semantics underlying product variants and subsequently supporting design process planning decisions. This paper applies timed colored Petri nets (TCPN) to model various elements of the product variant design process. The TCPN model performs as a generic design process platform from which alternative configurations of process plans can be derived and further converted to discrete-event simulation models for evaluation. A case study of car dashboard family design demonstrates that the TCPN design process model can effectively represent the elements of multiple design processes and support design task planning while leveraging design activities and resource allocation at the entire product family level.

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