Year: 1997
Editor: M.Tichem, T.Storm, M.M. Andreasen, A.H.B. Duffy
Author: Pels, Henk Jan
Page(s): 137 - 148


The market requires increasing product variety and flexibility: the ability for fast response to new customer needs. There are several ways to realise this:
• concurrent engineering: short product development lead times
• parametric design: fast generation of product variants,
• product families: managing commonality between variants
• modular product structures: creation of variants by adding or modifying modules. In this paper we focus on the modular approach. The intuitive concept of a module is a part of the system that can be exchanged without disturbing the integrity of the system, as long as its interfaces remain unchanged. From this rather intuitive concept of modularity we proceed to a more formal definition of modules. Building on results from research in modularity in data structures we develop rules for sound interfaces and criteria for modularity.

Keywords: Design interpretation ofproduct structure, modular design, module, interface

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