For machine and plant manufacturers, an important competitive factor is being able to offer high-quality and individual solutions quickly and flexibly. In particular, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) often pursue an engineer-to-order strategy. Through technology- or demand-driven new developments, variants ordered after market entry are derived through modification or adaptation designs. In this way, customer-specific requirements can be met and the cost of initial product development remains low.
However, this approach entails rising complexity costs, which make it more difficult to remain globally marketable. They are driven primarily by an increasing variety of components, which results among other things in additional development costs and long lead times. The product portfolio is difficult to describe conclusively from the outset due to the broad customer spectrum and dynamic requirements as well as the long product life cycle. Developing "from order to order" involves the risk of increasing internal complexity in the medium term (increasing number of articles, higher process diversity and exceptions in all departments, more special technical solutions). Increased error rates and throughput times are the result and the added value of customer-specific service fulfillment becomes a corporate risk.
By applying method units of the Integrated PKT-Approach to the development of modular product families, the company's internal variety of components and processes can be reduced in the long term and, at the same time, a wide variety of offerings can be realized while maintaining high quality standards. The aim is not only to support users in product family and process design, but also to enable them to apply the procedures themselves. The approach makes extensive use of suitable visualization techniques, which support the interdisciplinary development of new solution ideas for unrealized potential. The goal is always to maintain the competitive advantage of flexible performance fulfillment, which is important for SMEs, and at the same time to get a grip on the problem of variety.
Current as well as past projects are listed below. More information about these projects can be found on their linked individual sites.
- SPOTLIGHT - Schleifen präziser Oberflächen rotierender Leichtbaukomponenten zur Ressourceneffizienz in E-Mobility und Maschinenbau, since 2023:
The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK) on the basis of a resolution of the German Bundestag as part of the Lightweight Technology Transfer (TTP LB) funding program. Project management is carried out by the project management organization Jülich. Förderkennzeichen: 03LB2061F. Project partners are Carbon-Drive GmbH, Erwin Junker Maschinenfabrik GmbH, Stöckel Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH, MeFeX GmbH, Schunk Kohlenstofftechnik GmbH, Technische Universität Hamburg - IPMT and Technische Universität Darmstadt - PTW.
- MODERATED - Mechatronic Module Kit for intelligent Pressure Control Valves (Mechatronischer Modulbaukasten für intelligente Druckregelventile), since 2021:
The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the funding directive KMU-innovativ: Produktionsforschung. Förderkennzeichen: 02K20K502. In cooperation with Berluto Armaturen-Gesellschaft mbH and STAC Elektronische Systeme GmbH.
- VInDi-Sys - Variantengerechte & Inter-Disziplinäre Systemarchitekturen, since 2020:
In cooperation with TRUMPF Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH + Co. KG.
- WiMo-Trans - Validierung und Weiterentwicklung eines Wirkmodells zur Beschreibung der Effekte modularer Produktstrukturen in der industriellen Praxis, since 2019:
The project is funded by the german research foundation (DFG). In cooperation with Siemens.
- Industrieworkshop Modularisierungsmethoden, regularly reoccuring since 2012
- MoBaCon - Modellbasiertes Konfigurationssystem zur Analyse modularer Produktarchitekturen, since 2018:
This research is conducted in partnership with ERLAS.
- ProRobuSt - Methoden zur Entwicklung und Beherrschung der Produktvielfalt durch modulare zukunftsrobuste Produktstrukturen, 2016 - 2018:
The project was funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the program "KMU-innovativ: Produktionsforschung". In cooperation with i.a. ERLAS, Lutz Aufzüge, Mankenberg and odego.
- ModSupport - Innovative methodische Unterstützung bei der Entwicklung eines modularen Produktprogramms von Aufzügen, 2013 - 2015:
The project was funded by the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the program "KMU-innovativ". In cooperation with i.a. Lutz Aufzüge.
- Entwicklung kommunaler Produktprogramme bei Jungheinrich, 2011 - 2013:
This research was conducted in partnership with Jungheinrich.