Exploring the Potential of Applying a Platform Formulation at Supplier Level - the Case of Volvo Aero Corporation

DS 58-4: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, Vol. 4, Product and Systems Design, Palo Alto, CA, USA, 24.-27.08.2009

Year: 2009
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Högman, Ulf; Bergsjö, Dag; Anemo, Marcus; Persson, Henrik
Series: ICED
Section: Product and Systems Design
Page(s): 227-238


The utilization of a platform strategy has become a competitive priority in many industries, enhancing "economies of scale" [1]. Few studies have, however, been made investigating the applicability of platform strategies at supplier level characterized by small batch production. The aim of this study is to investigate the potential for implementing a platform formulation in a company characterized by low volume products which are designed for functional optimization, usually leading to tailored products. The study is descriptive and exploratory, and has studied reuse of elements between six different product developments at Volvo Aero Corporation. Four different reuse dimensions were investigated, reuse between different product families, reuse over product generations, reuse between customer products and reuse over product size. The study has shown that a modularized product platform is not seen as feasible. Instead, a technology or knowledge platform is seen as more interesting for leveraging corporate assets both internally and on the market.

Keywords: platform, small batch production, reuse


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