Modularization of joining elements in high variety manufacturing industries

Derk Hendrik Dominick Eggink*, Marco Wilhelm Groll

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleAcademicpeer-review

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Product variety is a growing trend of offering highly configurable products, but increases complexity costs throughout the entire product lifecycle. Modularization makes managing variety-induced complexity and ensuring profitable production possible. Unfortunately, the interfaces between modules represent joining domains and lack modularization and commonalization solutions. Meanwhile, joining element design finds increasingly more support from automation resulting in optimized solutions for individual product variants. Besides, continuous product development implies sequentially designed product variants that cause ambiguous and unnecessary design iterations for joining element design. This paper presents a five-step methodology to modularize joining elements in early product development, while balancing variety-induced complexity and production costs. It reduces complexity by commonalizing joining elements over product variants. The methodology unifies joining technologies, clusters joining locations and proposes an approach to increase modularity by balanced addition of joining elements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
JournalProcedia CIRP
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2021
Event31st CIRP Design Conference 2021 - University of Twente, Online Conference, Netherlands
Duration: 19 May 202121 May 2021
Conference number: 31


  • Automation
  • Commonality
  • Complexity
  • Design
  • Design for Assembly
  • Engineering
  • Joining Elements
  • Modularization
  • Product Variety


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