DS 96: The 20th International DSM Conference

Year: 2018
Editor: Leardi, Carlo; Browning, Tyson R.; Eppinger, Steven D.; Becerril, Lucia 
Author: Hollauer, Christoph(1); Thomas, Robin (1); Rhodes, Donna H. (2); Lindemann, Udo (1)
Series: DSM
Institution: 1: Laboratory for Product Development and Lightweight Design, TUM; 2: Systems Engineering Advancement Research Initiative, MIT
Section: Poster Contributions
Page(s): 183-193
ISBN: 978-3-00-057492-4


System modularization is a common and well-established approach to reduce system complexity. However, methodical approaches for the modularization of product development processes (PDPs) can hardly be found in the literature. The work that exists focuses only on interdependencies between process elements when modularizing the process. This paper proposes a modularization method for PDPs, basing the modularization on the context of the respective process, while still also taking process-internal interdependencies into account. The matrix-based approach applies a clustering algorithm that uses process context data to group process elements into modules. The modular PDP can then be tailored into project-specific PDPs based on the project context at hand. The design and application of lean and efficient project-specific PDPs has promising potential to reduce product development effort and costs.

Keywords: Product Development Process, Modularization, Clustering, Context, Modular Processes, Tailoring


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