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Success Story

Platform and module concept

Platforms and modules utilised across several product families reduce complexity, development times and costs. Zühlke experts assist you with the demanding process of their definition.

The increase in product diversity means higher development costs and greater process complexity. Appropriate product modularisation and the use of common platforms make it possible to construct variants from a common set of components. Thanks to a systematic approach, mediation between product management and development, and a method toolkit developed together with MIT,

Zühlke is in a position to accelerate the development of your product range architecture and gear it towards maximum benefits for the customer. By re-using product components, both the development time and the costs for new products are reduced significantly.

Task

A manufacturer of sophisticated precision measuring instruments was confronted with a growing variety of models, mounting cost pressures, and shorter market cycles. To make matters more complicated, Sales demanded that the instruments be differentiated as much as possible on the market. A comprehensive platform and module plan for the various families of measuring instruments was a suitable tool for enlarging the range of equipment, while maximising the number of identical parts. This reduced the complexity of processes and components internally. In addition to having the platforms and modules defined, the company is benefiting in other ways. Innovation activities have adopted a methodical process and uses besides inventors and laboratories other sources.

Implementation

Zühlke combined its tried and tested procedural model with a methodological approach adapted to the task at hand to move step by step towards a solution. Intensive coaching and specific methods were utilised for abstracting from the product level to the platform level and helped to improve the customer team’s ability to conceptualise. Drawing on their technical competence, the external experts assisted in the search for further possible solutions and in the evaluation and optimisation of these solutions. A separate space was set up for project work to enable a lively exchange of ideas and views. To ensure that all aspects were kept in mind, the team was composed of product managers, physicists, electronics engineers, designers and production engineers. The resulting plan even surpassed the original goals. The customer is now benefiting from a larger number of models, less complex construction, and improved economics.

Customer benefits

  • Zühlke experts recognised hurdles in the definition process early on and took appropriate steps to overcome them

  • The tried and tested method guided the team through the process and ensured an optimum solution

  • Coaching from Zühlke protected the unified product architecture and led the team to question any attempt to breach it

  • Zühlke experts acted as impartial and competent moderators, allowing a balance to be struck more easily between market differentiation and component standardisation

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