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Product Modularity

Part 5. Product Innovation and Management

  1. Tucker J. Marion

Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444316568.wiem05047

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing

How to Cite

Marion, T. J. 2010. Product Modularity. Wiley International Encyclopedia of Marketing. 5.

Author Information

  1. Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2010

Abstract

Product modularity is a method of designing a product based on well-defined interfaces and architecture that fosters the organization of complex designs and process operations more efficiently by decomposing complex systems into simpler subsystems. Defining product architecture is a key element in the engineering design of modular products, and should be the performed early in the product-development process, during system-level design. This allows the development of clean interfaces, which permit the arrangement of components in a manner that can be easily modified, enhanced, exchanged, or proliferated more efficiently. Designing a modular product has many benefits from manufacturing flexibility to reduced R&D expenses during product redesign. Well-defined product architecture and interfaces can foster the development of product platforms, which can help a firm easily introduce successive revenue-generating variants. During up-front product design, intelligently designing modularity into components and subsystems is an essential step toward development of a successful product line.

Keywords:

  • modularity;
  • product architecture;
  • interfaces;
  • flexibility;
  • product platforms