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Strategic Reasons forModularization: Implications of having a modular productarchitecture
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Industrial Management.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Industrial Management.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Customers of today have high requirements on what products they choose to purchase.Modularization is a business strategy, which aims to increase the possibility of offering differentvariants of a product to meet high standards and varying demands of customers. With newregulations, advancements in technology and newly discovered customer needs, the growth incomplexity of manufacturing companies’ product architecture is a natural result. The requestfrom Scania, which is the commissioner of this master thesis, was therefore to enable forresearch and development (R&D) to make conscious decisions that support that themodularization is maintained over time. With this as a starting point the purpose of this thesis isan investigation of what strategic reasons R&D should consider to make conscious decisionsaligned with the modularization principles during product development projects.!We have conducted a case study, including a literature review and semi-structured interviews, tounderstand the modular product architecture and strategic reasons for modularization. The semistructuredinterviews have been conducted firstly internally at Scania but also with two externalexperts within modularization. !The results suggest that the bygglåda (toolkit) is what characterizes the modular productarchitecture at Scania. The toolkit exists to develop the modular system from which products canbe created and configured through modules or components. This modular product architecturehas certain implications on product change, product variation, component standardization,product performance and product development management. The results further suggest thatcorporate strategies can be broken down into strategic reasons for applying modularization,which are linked to the different phases of a product lifecycle. R&D seems to play a central role,regarding Scania’s company specific strategy of meeting a high variation in customer needs,where the strategic reasons are technology evolution, planned product changes, common unit,carryover and separate testing. Eventually, a conceptualized example of the powertrain showedthat strategic reasons are also module specific. The results of understanding the differentcharacteristics of the modules is important when developing modules at R&D as theclassification of modules can function as base for decision-making during development projects.Knowledge about the characteristics of a module can indicate what is allowed and what is notallowed to change for the specific module.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 85
Keywords [en]
Modularization, Strategic Reasons, Modular Product Architecture, Module!
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-214826OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-214826DiVA, id: diva2:1143550
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2017-09-21 Created: 2017-09-21 Last updated: 2017-09-21Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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