The global trend of increased customization reduces the manufacturing volumes for each product variant, which in turn creates a higher need for flexible development and manufacturing. In the research project ”Flexible modularization for enhanced customer adaptation and continuous innovation in product platforms” (FliPP) we will develop better methods for modularization, and thereby create conditions for flexibility.
Modularization and platform strategies have become increasingly important for manufacturing companies, since these approaches enable efficient utilization of resources through economies of scale. Modules are often considered the basis of product platforms and enable new product variants where different properties and functionality are achieved by changing one module for another.
Husqvarna AB and Fagerhult AB are two companies who have realized the benefits of platforms and modularization, and therefore have chosen to join this project. Both companies have tested the component based modularization, which is described in literature. Unfortunately, this approach has not been successful, and the firms therefore need other ways to reap the benefits of modularization, apart from just reducing the number of components.
The purpose of this research project is to increase the ability to develop competitive products through improved methods for modularization:
- Modularization can enable shorter development and manufacturing lead-times of product variants through the reuse of existing designs and production equipment. The project will develop a methodology, which enables the use of modularization also for integrated and customized designs.
- The ability to introduce new product or manufacturing technologies is essential for the industrial competitiveness. The project will develop methods for identifying which sub-systems in a product platform that are affected by future technological development as well as create methods for flexible modularization.
The expected result is a new methodology for modelling, generating and evaluating product architectures and modules.
The methodology will support different industrial goals of modularization, for example short development time, decreased testing time during manufacturing, or improved serviceability. It does so by adapting the distribution of product functionality between different modules, which may lead to an enhanced ability of platform development at the industrial partners.
- Fagerhult Belysnings AB, Fagerhult, Sweden - a leading lighting solutions provider for the professional lighting market.
- Husqvarna Group, Huskvarna, Sweden - a global leading producer of products for forest, park and garden care.
Project duration and financing
The project runs from 2017-09-01
to 2019-08-30 and is co-funded by the Swedish Knowledge foundation, the School of Engineering and the participating companies.
If you would like to know more about the project, please contact Dag Raudberget.