Due to increasing demands for products variants with reduced developmentaltime, forced manufacturing firms to consider effective and organized productdevelopment approach. In order to fulfill such requirements, firms areincreasingly moving towards platform-based product development approach with aview to reduce complexity and better leverage investments in product design,manufacturing and marketing. It is very much challenging to create effectiveproduct varieties efficiently and economically. Researchers have continued toproduce substantial amount of work on developing product varieties throughproduct family, platform design and standardization. In literature, variousconcepts are related with platform thinking such as; component standardization,parts commonality, modularity, product variety or family, product and processplatform. In this paper, an overview of platform design is presented for thepurpose of customization and globalized business solutions. A generic designstructure matrix (DSM) tool is outlined, which presents an effective methodologyfor platform formation. This methodology is explained through an example takenfrom a diesel fueled ship engine. Various limitations and risks associated withplatform-based product development are also discussed along with some futureresearch directions too.