Empirical Study of Good, Bad and Ugly Modular Engineering Solutions in Machinery Manufacturing Industry

DS 94: Proceedings of the Design Society: 22nd International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED19)

Year: 2019
Editor: Wartzack, Sandro; Schleich, Benjamin; Gon
Author: Juuti, Tero; Pakkanen, Jarkko; Lehtonen, Timo
Series: ICED
Institution: Tampere University of Technology
Section: Product Architecture and Modularization
DOI number: https://doi.org/10.1017/dsi.2019.305
ISSN: 2220-4342


This study examines the relationship between the product structuring principles chosen in modular product families and the business results of companies. In the three case studies of the article, it can be seen that products that meet the modularity definitions discussed in the literature have been able to utilise the benefits of modularity in a very varied way. In one business case, the effect of modularity on business has been negative. In two other cases, the effect has been positive - in one of these even the profitability of the business has significantly improved. The aim of this article is to identify whether product designing consistently has been following some product structuring principles previously mentioned in modularisation literature or whether case studies bring new principles to consciousness. In all case studies, the product structuring principles used are also discussed in the previous modularisation studies at a varying extent. In the discussion section, we raise the question of whether the recording and use of product structuring principles in design briefs could lead to making the product design decisions that affect the business positively.

Keywords: Modularisation, Design methods, Product families, Product architecture, Product structuring


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