To main content

Modularization – enabler for shop floor involvement in improvement and development


The introduction of modules and product platforms implies a strategy where the scope should encompass not a single product, but a family or an assortment of products. Instead of searching for "an optimal design for an optimal product", the objective should be to create a flexible product design, allowing product variations without requiring changes in the overall product design every time a new variant is introduced. This flexibility in product design and customization has been regarded as a feasible way for leisure boat manufacturers in high-cost countries like Norway to be competitive in the increasingly tougher conditions of the leisure boat market. The incremental development process that we often find in e.g. craft manufacturing, which leisure boat manufacturing can be seen as, is well suited for modularization. A way to introduce a module-based product architecture could be to identify key parts of the products – parts, systems or components that enable the development of modules. This paper describes how modularization makes it easier to address improvement and development in the company. This paper also reports how the focus modularization enabled profound involvements from employees that reduced barriers to change. This, over time, also challenged the traditional “craftsmen culture” into a more change-oriented and proactive culture at shop floor level.


Academic lecture


  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 210426




  • SINTEF Digital / Technology Management
  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Presented at

APMS 2012


Rodos Palace hotel, Rhodes


24.09.2012 - 26.09.2012



View this publication at Cristin