WiMo-Trans - Validation and further development of an impact model to describe the effects of modular product structures in industrial practice


In increasingly competitive markets, manufacturing companies are forced to meet the continuing trend towards individualization and offer products in different variants. The resulting high product diversity is accompanied by increased variant-induced complexity in all areas of the company. Modular product structuring is a proven means here of reducing variant-induced complexity while at the same time maintaining the high level of (external) product diversity demanded by customers. In order to determine the effects of modularization measures on the individual company divisions and on the target variables of time, costs, quality and risk, a generic impact model for the effects of modular product structures was set up in a previous DFG project. The model is based on the findings of a literature study and accordingly enables rather generic and qualitative statements on the individual effects identified. The transferability to real use cases in industry has not yet been investigated. Here, various boundary conditions (organizational structure, competitive environment, etc.) can influence the result and possibly lead to new or changed effects.


Building on the fundamental findings from the previous DFG project, the primary goal of the transfer project is to transfer the developed impact model into industrial practice and to feed new findings back into the impact model through transfer and validation. Siemens Consulting PLM is a particularly suitable industrial partner, since it not only has a large project landscape with many potential use cases, but also know-how about the effects of modularization measures.


First, the two existing models are compared and possibilities for integration are discussed. Based on this, special effect chains are prioritized and validated, detailed and extended in selected industrial projects. The focus of the detailing is the development of key performance indicators (KPIs), by means of which it is possible to track the objectives across the dimensions of time, cost, quality and risk. Building on the generic impact model, the approach is thus to make individual impacts quantifiable and, as part of the expansion, also to enable the integration of a time dimension. The detailed and extended impact model of modular product structures is also to be embedded in a software tool in order to extend the functionalities of a pure visualization and to generate a consistent data model. In the MBSE tool, the quantification of selected effects will be integrated as an example.

Project Organization

Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr.-Ing Dieter Krause

Co-Investigator: Erik Greve, M. Sc., Jan Küchenhof, M. Sc.

Funding and Partners

The project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
The duration of the project is from October 2019 to March 2022.