MODULARITY IN USE - EXPERIENCES FROM FIVE COMPANIES
Editor: Marcel Tichem, Delft University of Technology, Mogens Myrup Andreasen, Technical University of Denmark, Alex Duffy, University of Strathclyde
Author: Stake, Roger B.; Blackenfelt, Michael
Page(s): 11 - 26
Modularisation of a product family may be done for various reasons, to various degrees and by using various approaches. A modular product family may be the result of a conscious redesign of an existing family or the result of a long term work where the company has grown into the modular system. The purpose of this work is to study experiences of modularity in five Swedish companies. This pilot-study describes some of the issues associated with modularity as well as identifies areas of interest for researchers of modular product design. Each of the studied companies has highlighted interesting aspects of modularisation. Generally, the importance of organisational changes was seen as a central issue; either the product structure raised the need for reorganisation or the reorganisation accentuated the need for a product restructuring. However, also major changes in technology had or will have effect on the product structure and the organisation. For example. electronics and software have given new ways to locate functionality and generate variety, which created both opportunities and challenges.
Keywords: Product structure, modular products. product families. product platforms. industrial cases