Theoretical analysis of the relationships between modularity in design and modularity in production
- Publication Type:
- Journal Article
- International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology, 2017, 89 (5-8), pp. 1943 - 1958
- Issue Date:
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© 2016, Springer-Verlag London. This paper investigates the relationships between modularity in design (MID) and modularity in production (MIP) in the automotive industry in terms of how automotive companies obtain benefits and/or drawbacks through MID/MIP relationships. A literature analysis was conducted in order to identify the possible relationships between MID and MIP as well as the concepts behind these connections. Sixty-one papers were identified to portray relationships between modular product architecture and modular production systems. Results show a representation of MID and MIP relationships by illustrating that many automotive firms are working towards establishing a better connection between these modularity typologies. Those relationships may occur in both ways and involve various conceptual elements, which are important in guiding managers’ decisions regarding applications of modularity. From the analysis, two propositions are offered for future field research. Finally, relationships between MID and MIP might be connected with modularity’s maturity level in companies. This is a literature review paper; therefore, empirical evidence is needed to further support current findings. Future studies could analyze the managerial implications through causal relationships between MID and MIP. In addition, the propositions that emerged from this study may provide a foundation for conducting empirical research. As main contributions, this paper establishes the relationship trajectories between MID and MIP in a systematized way, which enables to describe the main specific conceptual elements involved in MID and MIP relationships. Additionally, it offers propositions on how these relationships may increase practical relevance and grounds for field analysis.
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