Introduction of a new product architecture in the commercial vehicle sector


"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

MAN Truck & Bus AG

Introduction of a new product architecture in the commercial vehicle sector

With 102,000 vehicles sold (2016), MAN is one of Europe’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturers.

With its products, the company offers customized solutions for a wide range of applications in the commercial vehicle sector. A wide range of ordering options enables customers to configure an MAN vehicle that is perfectly suited 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.

In cooperation with the sales department, an adapted order options catalog was set up in parallel, which enables a consistent and overlap-free configuration of the vehicles. Through structured and multi-stage variant planning, 3DSE was able to consider the interests of all parties involved at an early stage and reduce late change loops.
Systematic reporting created extensive transparency on project progress for management and enabled the early identification of risks and the initiation of appropriate measures. Within a very dynamic project situation, the constant adaptation of the procedure and a flexible integration of the planning results into the product architecture were the central success factors.

“With the help of 3DSE’s sound and structured consulting, the successful introduction of a product architecture was ensured and efficient documentation of development scopes at MAN was made possible,” reports Caspar Sunder-Plassmann, project manager for the rollout of the new product structure. Over a period of two years, four product lines, each with more than 1,200 components, were transferred to the new product architecture and documented in the system.

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