Browse Publications Technical Papers 2013-36-0222
2013-10-07

The Contribution of the Local Product Engineering in the Search for Innovative Modular Solutions: A Case Study of the Front Seat Structure 2013-36-0222

A frequent situation in the national automobile industry is the each time bigger rapidity that just-launched models are evolved (the so called face-lifts).
Within this highly dynamic context, the solutions and technical proposals developed by the local product engineering have two main guidelines. The first one is to work on product evolutions which goal is to make the vehicles far more attractive and differentiated with respect to the competition and also to the previous model. The second one is to constantly search the standardization or the modularization of parts between the different models and versions of vehicles, thus reducing the costs of investments and providing scale profits.
This article aims to present, through a case study of the front seat structures, a practical and innovative example of the application of a modular solution developed by the local product engineering that allowed the conciliation of these two apparently antagonistic objectives, the one of obtaining scale economies and, at the same time, the other of preserving the style and the identity of each one of the final products.
Through this study, it can be confirmed the importance of the modular strategy and its applications in different families of vehicles, including those manufactured in distinct production sites.

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