Title: Mass customisation in the electronics industry: based on modular products and product configuration
Author: Lars Hvam
Address: Centre for Product Modelling, Department of Manufacturing Engineering and Management, Technical University of Denmark, Produktionstorvet – Building 423, DK–2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
Abstract: American Power Conversion (APC), a company in the electronics industry, has used the principles of mass customisation to achieve major improvements in its efficiency and performance. APC sells, designs, produces, delivers, and installs large complex infrastructure systems for data centres, and components for these systems. At the heart of its mass customisation strategy are a module-based product range and the use of product configuration systems for sales and order processing. In addition, the company has implemented a manufacturing concept, which involves the mass production of standard components in the Far East, and customer order-based final assembly based on customer orders at various production sites around the world within close customer proximity. The results of applying mass customisation principles include a reduction of the overall delivery time for a complete system from around 400 to 16 days. Also, production costs were significantly reduced. At the same time, the company's capability for introducing new products has increased.
Keywords: mass customisation; product configuration; product modularisation; business model; electronics industry; case study; modular products; delivery time reduction; new product introduction; NPI.
Int. J. of Mass Customisation, 2006 Vol.1, No.4, pp.410 - 426
Available online: 22 Jul 2006