Companies adopt the strategy of producing variety of products to be competitive and responsive to market. Product variation is becoming an important factor in companies' ability to accurately meet customer requirements. Ever increasing consumer options mean that customers have more choices than ever before which put commercial pressures on companies to continue to diversify. This can be a particular problem within Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) who do not always have the level of resources to meet these requirements. As such, methods are required that provide means for companies to be able to produce a wide range of products at the lowest cost and shortest time. This paper details a new modular product design methodology that provides a focus on developing modular product families. The methodology's function is described and a case study detailed of how it was used within an SME to define the company's product portfolio and create a new Generic Product Function Structure from which a new family of product variants can be developed. The methodology lends itself to modular re-use which has the potential to support rapid development and configuration of product variants.
- product family