Towards a decision-making framework for multi-criteria product modularization in cooperative environments

Hamburg University of Technology
  • 600: Technik
  • 600
  • Modular product family design is a strong strategy to offer a wide range of product variants economically. Many methods for designing and assessing modular product concepts are provided in literature - deciding between modular product structure alternatives, however, is still a challenging task, because of the many and unforeseeable effects on all product life-phases in combination with the high number of involved stakeholders. In addition, modularity alternatives cause multi-dimensional trade-offs that make the decision process a complex challenge. Current approaches to decide the product modularization tend to focus on the prediction of either internal or external consequences. Furthermore, they rarely consider the prevalent situation of a company’s internal tier structure with different organizational sections, responsible for different module design and supply. In this paper, we investigate modularity decision problems and introduce an innovative framework and modularity decision dashboard, considering internal and external variety evaluation, conflicting objectives of stakeholders as well as company-internal tier structures of component, module and product suppliers. The approach builds on the integrated PKT-approach for developing modular product families, recent findings in complexity cost evaluation, effects of modularization and modularity decision problems. An industrial application at a modularization strategy project in an international powertool company is presented and proves basic validity of the framework and the process model. The results of the study demonstrate how an applicable modularity decision dashboard can facilitate cooperative decision-making and leads to a balanced variety for the electromotor module portfolio in an industrial environment.
DOI 10.1016/j.procir.2018.02.027
  • info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess
TUHH Open Research

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