Browse Publications Technical Papers 2019-36-0039
2020-01-13

Modularity and connectivity: a case study of the development by the local product engineering of a car multimedia system for application on multiple models 2019-36-0039

In the context of high and rising development, validation and certification costs of new components for automotive applications, not only but particularly within the electric and electronic perimeters, the re-use or modularization of components among different car models has become a non-negotiable drive for the car industry in order to increase investments efficiency and foster costs reductions. On another spectrum, it is very salient in the Brazilian market the demand for vehicle-embedded technology, mainly connectivity, surprisingly even more than in other leading automotive markets as the United States. This paper presents a real case study of the complex application of a new multimedia system on a broad range of vehicles produced in two different plants, sold in the Brazilian market under two different brands belonging to the same automotive group. The whole process was led by the local product engineering team using a successful modular strategy, which allowed the achievement of important scale economies–in both purchasing and manufacturing terms–, as well as the upgrade of the connectivity offer and the connected perceived quality, while preserving the style specific to each model. It is argued that, despite greater complexity during the exploratory phase, and a larger time to market therefore, the application of a simpler, cheaper, undeniably better multimedia system on ten different car models could be hardly achieved outside of a modular approach. More broadly, it is also argued that the method is largely efficient, relevant for other components and sub-assemblies and not limited to the automotive industry.

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