Modular Product Development Is Key to Boost Efficiency and Customer Value 

30/05/2024

Moduler Product Develpoment

As industrial enterprises face multiple challenges such as volatile markets, inflation pressure, and customers demanding more value, they are looking for ways to improve their efficiency along the value chain. Increased competition through new industry players as well as technology changes and new choices shifts buying power to customers demand higher value and customizability in their products to meet customer needs. 

Modularization has the potential to be integrated into product development with reasonable ramp-up period, while unfolding its effectiveness along the value chain. Thereby the organization’s ambition can range from optimizing a subsystem to support multiple applications, to creating the right architecture for a product to manage internal vs. external variance, to creating a long-term modular architecture approach for the portfolio.  

Modularization per se isn’t a new concept. However, when trying to boost their modularization capabilities, companies still face practical challenges: Engineering leads and engineers are busy with their R&D projects, product development processes and procedures do not incorporate yet modularization, modularization principles known from the theory do not fit the way how the company operates.  

While modularization benefits in terms of R&D efficiency, economies of scale along the value chain, optimization of variants (internal vs. external complexity), increased reuse are principally understood, companies still need to be put to work and integrated into product development operations.  

Therefore, a customized Modular Architecture Development Process (see project example) has been shown to be an effective approach for companies. 3DSE provides the outside-in expertise to customize the process as well as helping companies to apply the process in R&D projects. 

The Modularization Process seamlessly integrates and enhances the existing product development process, which is the backbone for executing modularization in R&D projects. At the same time modularization should not be seen as an additional burden – it creates a window of opportunity to make the product architecture right from the very beginning. 

While engineering is the key driver in modularization, its “internal customers” stretch along the value chain: E.g., purchasing can reduce buying cost, as the “zoo of variants” is optimized. Production benefits from avoided capital expenditures and simplification in their assembly lines. Therefore, modularization is best run as a cross-functional effort which integrates representatives from various departments. In example project 3DSE supported customers to integrate the various perspective and optimize the module variance from a technical and financial perspective.   

In a company, where modularization hasn’t reached yet the “corporate DNA” stage, management support, communication, training will assure a successful introduction. If you are interested to learn more about the 3DSE modularization please feel free to contact us via our contact forum.: 3DSE – Contact form modularization

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Autor

Martin Gieler
Dr. Martin Gieler

Dr. Martin Gieleris a Senior Consultant at 3DSE Management Consultants GmbH in Vienna. With many years of international experience in innovation and R&D in industry, he works across sectors and topics such as systems engineering and portfolio topics. 

Matthias Miholich
Matthias Miholich

Matthias Miholich is an consultant at 3DSE Management Consultants GmbH based in Vienna.He works across various companies and industries, tackling diverse topics such as modularization, platforming, systems engineering, and R&D improvement. His international background equips him to provide valuable insights and innovative solutions.