Introduction of a new product architecture in the commercial vehicle sector

Caspar_Sunder_Plassmann

 

With the help of the sound and structured consulting of 3DSE, the successful introduction of a new product architecture could be ensured.

 

Caspar Sunder-Plassmann, Project head for the rollout of the new product structure
at MAN

With 102,000 vehicles sold (2016), MAN is one of Europe’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturers. The company and its products offer customized solutions for a wide variety of applications in the commercial vehicle sector. Due to a number of ordering options, it is possible for customers to configure a MAN vehicle that is perfectly adapted to their needs.

“Such a variety of combination options represents a particular challenge for development,” says Dr. Christoph Baumberger, Head of the Department for Product Architecture. “With the introduction of a coherent and consistent product architecture, we are creating the precondition for controlling the economics of these complex vehicles.”

In order to achieve this, it was necessary to transfer the entire existing portfolio into the new architecture. To tackle this challenge, MAN turned to 3DSE and its well-established expertise in the area of modular product architectures. 3DSE’s assignment was to enable the introduction of the new product structure through goal-oriented workshops with the development departments.

As a first step, the existing component variance was documented and analyzed for every component of the coordinated architecture. In the next step, the variants had to be linked to the customer order options on the sales side and clearly differentiated from each other. During the workshops, the 3DSE consultants familiarized the developers with the new architecture and worked with them for a thorough understanding of the integrated development approach.
Parallel to this and in collaboration with sales, an adapted order option catalog was drawn up, which enabled a consistent vehicle configuration that was free of any overlapping. Through a structured and multi-step planning of variants, 3DSE could take into account the interests of all parties at an early stage and reduce late revisions.
Full transparency about the project’s progress was created for management through systematic reporting, and the early discovery of risks and the introduction of appropriate measures were made possible. Within a very dynamic project situation, constant adjustment of the process and flexible integration of the planning results into the product architecture were the key factors for success.

“With the help of the sound and structured consulting of 3DSE, the successful introduction of a new product architecture could be ensured, and an efficient documentation of development dimensions could be made possible at MAN,” reports Caspar Sunder-Plassmann, Project head for the rollout of the new product structure. In conclusion, over a period of two years, four product lines with more than 1,200 components each were transferred into the new product architecture and systematically documented.

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