Platform-based product development in the process industry: a systematic literature review

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Platform-based product development has been applied extensively in discrete manufacturing industry to accommodate changing market demands. Nevertheless, while process industry manufacturers face similar market demands, the topic is only sparsely covered in literature. Through a systematic review of the literature, this study uncovers the definitions used, drivers behind, approaches and methods applied, and industry examples of platform-based product development in the process industry. Based on these analyses, a research agenda is then proposed to further the knowledge of this topic. The study identified existing definitions of key platform-related terms used in several studies and furthermore discovered new definitions for some terms. The most prominent drivers behind pursuing platform-based product development was found to be cost reduction and productivity of product development, with development lead time reduction playing a less significant role. Literature related to platform-based product development focuses primarily on product design and development issues, with less attention given to market, manufacturing, and supply chain issues. Only few industrial cases were identified within the process industry while multiple anecdotal descriptions were discovered. For future research, further insight into key platform concepts, applicability of existing methods, broader value chain focus and detailed industrial cases are considered relevant.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Production Research
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


  • Process industry
  • non-assembled products
  • product development
  • product platform
  • variety management


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