Integrated framework for component variety management: a case study
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The number of global component suppliers grown significantly over the years, and the quantity and variety of outsourced components in automotive applications has also seen exponential increases. The practice of managing component variety, and deciding the portfolio of components according to the source: these tasks are now both necessary and challenging because of this growth. However, most industries have not made significant efforts to manage component variety at its origin - the product development process - and thus still use a primitive, manual process of source selection. In this paper, we present a systematic approach to managing component variety at an early stage - in the product development process - and for optimally deciding the portfolio of components vis--vis the sourcing selection. We have implemented this test application with an electronic component, the microcontroller, for the Visteon Corporation, a leading automotive supplier, and in so doing have proved the feasibility of the proposed framework. Copyright 2011 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.