Title: Systematic analyses of component couplings and their application for modularisation of complex products

Authors: Birgit Koeppen, Wolfgang Kersten

Addresses: Institute of Business Logistics and General Management, Hamburg University of Technology, Schwarzenbergstr. 95, D-21073 Hamburg, Germany. ' Institute of Business Logistics and General Management, Hamburg University of Technology, Schwarzenbergstr. 95, D-21073 Hamburg, Germany

Abstract: Methods of product modularisation are used for structuring products in order to reduce complexity in handling them. Modularisation allows splitting the responsibility for the product in the development phase. The modules can then be handled by different development teams in parallel. For realising positive effects of product modularisation in the company, the decision as to which components are combined into one module is decisive. In this paper a method is presented that offers a systematic approach for analysing the couplings between the components, in order to combine strongly coupled components into one module. Different aspects from all phases of the value-added process are considered: mapping functions are defined, which allow a measuring of the strength of the couplings| strength between the components. Getting objective and repeatable results for coupling values is eased by using the mapping functions compared to an expert|s decision. The application of this method is presented by an example.

Keywords: product modularisation; product design; modular architectures; components coupling; mass customisation; mapping functions.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMASSC.2008.017145

International Journal of Mass Customisation, 2008 Vol.2 No.3/4, pp.303 - 323

Published online: 15 Feb 2008 *

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