Product variants are increasing and product life cycles are becoming shorter and shorter. The media is rife with reports on these developments, such as articles published in the Tagesspiegel or PC Magazin, which focus on the increasing pace with which new smartphones and electronic devices are launched. But the speed is also accelerating in mechanical and plant engineering. This is also shown by a study of the Scientific Services of the Bundestag:
Modularization is sold as a panacea
Modular product development is the magic pill that solves all your problems? Advertising messages that trumpet the advantages of modularization may leave you with that impression. In reality, however, modular development, like any other development strategy, has both weaknesses and strengths, as well as risks and advantages.
Up to 20,000 parts per machine, less than 100 produced machines per year, a machine lifecycle of 40+ years. These are the key figures of a larger midsized enterprise in the business of industrial plants for food packaging. A business with certainly different constraints compared to large automotive manufacturers named often in context of modular strategies. Therefore, the focus of the modularization project was not set on achieving economies of scale in a purchasing division beyond 100,000 units.