Title: Classifying different types of modularity for technical system

Authors: Hao Li; Miying Yang; Steve Evans

Addresses: Henan Provincial Key Laboratory of Intelligent Manufacturing of Mechanical Equipment, Zhengzhou University of Light Industry, Zhengzhou 450002, China ' College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, EX4 4QF, UK ' Department of Engineering, Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB3 0FS, UK

Abstract: Modular design is regarded as an effective approach to reduce production cost and increase mass customisation and personalisation in industries. The implementation of modularisation requires the support of the entire technical system, including product, service and supply chains. However, most modularity studies only focus on product modularity. There is a need for comprehensive understanding of modularity in product, service and supply chains. This paper addresses this need by defining the modularity of the technical system, including product, service and supply chains; and providing classifications for modularity across product modularity, service modularity and supply chain modularity separately. The contributions of this paper are: 1) a review on the classification of technical system modularity; 2) the analysis of internal relationship among different types of product modularity; 3) a proposal for different types of service modularity and supply chain modularity. This study can assist manufacturing companies to improve modular design and management of technical system.

Keywords: technical system; product modularity; service modularity; supply chain modularity.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2019.101267

International Journal of Technology Management, 2019 Vol.81 No.1/2, pp.1 - 23

Accepted: 24 Jan 2018
Published online: 21 Jun 2019 *

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