Design for adaptability in multi-variant product families

DS 75-4: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED13), Design for Harmonies, Vol.4: Product, Service and Systems Design , Seoul, Korea, 19-22.08.2013

Year: 2013
Editor: Udo Lindemann, Srinivasan V, Yong Se Kim, Sang Won Lee, John Clarkson, Gaetano Cascini
Author: Greisel, Markus; Kissel, Maximilian; Spinola, Benjamin; Kreimeyer, Matthias
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: Technical University of Munich, Germany; 2: MAN Truck & Bus AG
Page(s): 179-188
ISBN: 978-1-904670-47-6
ISSN: 2220-4334


Designing system structures for adaptability offers significant advantages for both customers and producers. But it is not simple, especially when the product is a highly complex product family, for example a heavy duty truck. This paper presents why the application of Design for Adaptability is problematic with existing approaches, if the product is complex. To close the outlined gap in methodology, a new methodical concept is proposed. This is based on Modular Function Deployment and strategic modularization, offering the opportunity for the necessary transparency, to make also very multi-variant products more adaptable. For making the complexity of high variant product families more tangible, this concept is applied on the components of a Generic Product Structure. The modularization is done by defining adaptability drivers and focusing not on interfaces, but on grouping components for distinct reasons. Therefore ‘Strategic Modules’ are defined offering a whole new perspective and transparency of component dependencies. This is shown on a real life product by MAN Truck & Bus AG. The result is a promising methodical concept that should be further developed by future research.

Keywords: Design for adaptability, high variant product families, design for X, product architecture, product lifecycle management


Please sign in to your account

This site uses cookies and other tracking technologies to assist with navigation and your ability to provide feedback, analyse your use of our products and services, assist with our promotional and marketing efforts, and provide content from third parties. Privacy Policy.