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By Anna Ericson and Gunnar Erixon
In an increasingly complex, customer value-driven marketplace, a progressively greater number of product variants has become one of the most important cost drivers for many manufacturing companies. Its negative effects are manifested throughout the entire organization. Company executives and product development managers, along with design and manufacturing engineers responsible for organizational results, will benefit from this book.
Introduced here is the concept of modular design within the product platform approach, intended to increase company efficiency while reducing costs and time to market. "Modularization" is the decomposition of a product into building blocks with specified interfaces.
Companies can achieve significant advantages by separating parts that should vary to satisfy customer needs from parts that should be kept as common units. In this book, the terminology and a five-step method for creating modular product platforms are developed. Organizational benefits from this method include reduced product development lead time, concurrent development of the product and production system, parallel design and manufacturing, improved quality, easier service and upgrading, and reduced material and overhead costs.