Title: Application of modularity in world automotive industries: a literature analysis

Authors: Ahm Shamsuzzoha, Petri T. Helo, Tauno Kekale

Addresses: Department of Production, University of Vaasa, P.O. Box 700, FI-65101, Finland. ' Department of Production, University of Vaasa, P.O. Box 700, FI-65101, Finland. ' Department of Production, University of Vaasa, P.O. Box 700, FI-65101, Finland

Abstract: Nowadays global auto industries are implementing considerable changes in their production lines, which lead to increased competition and shorter product life cycles. Producing a variety of products with higher quality and less cost could ensure more customer satisfaction. All automotive industries especially car manufacturers are required to increase their market segment with corporate profit to ensure cost related objectives and success over competitors. It is therefore essential for auto firms to reconsider their product development methodology in order to fulfil the objectives. The focus of this paper is to investigate the pros and cons of the concept of modularity that can be applied in auto industries in order to improve the product development processes. Modularity is gaining increasing importance in manufacturing firms recently; especially in auto industries. Modular product structures ensure real improvements and provide considerable benefits for the business firms such as reduced time to market, increased product variants, improved product quality, reduced Bill-Of-Material code etc. However, the concept of modularity has some limitations too. In this paper, a general overview of modularity, its application and prospects in auto industries along with its limitations are discussed.

Keywords: modularity; modular product development; design structure matrix; DSM; automobile industry; automotive modularisation; mass customisation; literature review.

DOI: 10.1504/IJATM.2010.035646

International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management, 2010 Vol.10 No.4, pp.361 - 377

Published online: 01 Oct 2010 *

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