A Market-Based Design Strategy for a Universal Product Family Academic Article uri icon


  • Companies that generate a variety of products and services are creating, and increasing research on, mass-customized products in order to satisfy customers' specific needs. Currently, the majority of effort is focused on consumers who are without disabilities. The research presented here is motivated by the need to provide a basis of product design methods for users with some disability-often called universal design (UD). Product family design is a way to achieve cost-effective mass customization by allowing highly differentiated products serving distinct market segments to be developed from a common platform. By extending concepts from product family design and mass customization to universal design, we propose a method for developing and evaluating a universal product family within uncertain market environments. We will model design strategies for a universal product family as a market economy where product family platform configurations are generated through market segments based on a product platform and customers' preferences. A coalitional game is employed to evaluate which design strategies provide more benefit when included in the platform based on the marginal profit contribution of each strategy. To demonstrate an implementation of the proposed method, we use a case study involving a family of light-duty trucks. © 2012 American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

author list (cited authors)

  • Ki Moon, S., & McAdams, D. A.

citation count

  • 23

publication date

  • October 2012