Integrating optimal configuration of product platform and supplier selection in mass customization

Ting Wang, Jian Wang, Hiroaki Matsukawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Platform-based Product Development (PPD) approach is an effective way to achieve mass customization. The product platform configuration in PPD is to determine the number and composition of platforms for a product family. Different types of design strategy have often been found to satisfy product requirements, i.e., the matching-designed with higher platform development cost and lower customization cost, the over-designed or under-designed platforms with different performance in these two types of cost. Traditional research balances the cost trade-off within the design domain, and few studies include the procurement cost from suppliers. Involving the supplier selection requirements into product platform configuration was examined in this study with focus on module-based platforms. The proposed model contains development cost, sourcing cost, and customization cost, under given product architecture and given number of modules and associated options. We developed a solving algorithm applying the linearization method with Gurobi solver to solve the proposed nonlinear MIP (mixed integer programming) model. Numerical experiments are carried out and sensitivity analyses are performed to justify the proposed model. The results show that the optimal combination of suppliers and the optimal number of platforms depends on the given parameters, such as various cost parameters included in the model, product demand and lifetime. Sensitivity analyses show that the optimal number of product platforms will decrease as the development cost increases, while the number of platforms increases as the customization cost increases. The over-designed platform is more prevalent in the presence of high development cost and high customization cost. In contrast, the matching-designed platform is more suitable for low development cost and high customization cost.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberjamdsm0060
JournalJournal of Advanced Mechanical Design, Systems and Manufacturing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Customization
  • Module selection
  • Platform configuration
  • Platform-based product development
  • Supplier selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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