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A review of modular strategies and architecture within manufacturing operations

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-08, 14:25 authored by D Doran, A Hill
This paper reviews existing modularity and modularization literature within manufacturing operations. Its purpose is to examine the tools, techniques, and concepts relating to modular production, to draw together key issues currently dominating the literature, to assess managerial implications associated with the emerging modular paradigm, and to present an agenda for future research directions. The review is based on journal papers included in the ABI/Inform electronic database and other noteworthy research published as part of significant research programmes. The research methodology concerns reviewing existing literature to identify key modular concepts, to determine modular developments, and to present a review of significant contributions to the field. The findings indicate that the modular paradigm is being adopted in a number of manufacturing organizations. As a result a range of conceptual tools, techniques, and frameworks has emerged and the field of modular enquiry is in the process of codifying the modular lexicon and developing appropriate modular strategies commensurate with the needs of manufacturers. Modular strategies and modular architecture were identified as two key issues currently dominating the modular landscape. Based on this review, the present authors suggest that future research areas need to focus on the development and subsequent standardization of interface protocols, cross-brand module use, supply chain power, transparency, and trust. This is the first review of the modular landscape and as such provides insights into, first, the development of modularization and, second, issues relating to designing modular products and modular supply chains.


Publication status

  • Published

File Version

  • Published version


Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part D: Journal of Automobile Engineering




SAGE Publications





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Department affiliated with

  • Business and Management Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

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