Ford''s GPA Information Model: Supporting Commonality, Reuse, and Product Variety (EX)
Ford has applied the concepts of the "Twelve-Fold Way" to reduce product and process complexity, create a consistent information architecture, and achieve economies of scale, while supporting the needs for variety across multiple brands. Ford North America, Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Mazda, and Ford of Europe reached a consensus regarding the information instances that define product lifecycle and product contents. A cogent information system that supports commonality, reuse, and product variety provides a distinct competitive advantage. Moreover, PLM platforms such as Teamcenter Enterprise must support the flexibility to apply product definitions that directly correspond to the strategy adopted. The result is Ford's Generic Physical Architecture (GPA), which Ford is now rolling out across its different brands.
Keywords: Twelve-Fold Way, product variety, modularity, shared representations, Teamcenter Enterprise, product definition, generic physical architecture, GPA, Ford, manufacturing-driven constraints, product structure, BOM, digital mock-up, product validation