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Reference – Plant engineering and manufacturing

In the following you will find selected references for the topics modular products, module sets, standardization and product-platforms from plant engineering and manufacturing

Definition of a modular concept across multiple product lines of elevators (several product lines)

Customer: an equipment manufacturer for elevators and escalators

Our customer is a global equipment manufacturer for elevators and escalators with development and production in Europe, Asia, North and South America.

Aim: merging product families and expanding them as well as saving costs

The equipment manufacturer for elevators and escalators was mainly aiming at three things with their project of defining a modular concept.

Firstly, as part of the development of the next generation of elevators, several existing product families had to be merged and their scope was to be extended. Secondly, a tight time frame in combination with – thirdly – ambitious cost-saving goals had been defined for modularization in advance. The large development scope, which concerned all assemblies of the plants, was spread over several development sites on different continents.

Approach: Analysing variety, module cut, variant reduction

The first step was recording the initial situation. This included an analysis of the external variety, i.e. the product characteristics, which the customer chooses, and the resulting variants. Secondly, part of the recording was the analysis of the internal variety, i.e. the technical components and their existing variants.

In order to be able to process the extensive system with several thousand parts, the entire system was divided into approx. 10 modules.Those were defined in a way that each module would contain strongly interdependent components, which would have to be looked at together during the further course of action.

To reduce the number of variants and to realize the goals of modularization, the dependencies between external variety, customer selection, and internal technical variety were analysed in detail. This analysis served the basis for the development of technical-design solutions to reduce the number of different variants.

In order to compare the results with the objectives, the expected cost savings were assessed using a complexity cost model.

Results: Reduction in the number of technical variants, cut in complexity cost

The modular concept for elevators was a success: The developed product generation unites several product families of the previous generation and can now be offered to the customer as one seamless product family.

The modularization reduced the technical variants by more than 50 per cent and the direct product and complexity costs by 30 per cent.

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