PARTIAL CONFIGURING FOR ENGINEERING PRODUCTIVITY
Editor: Niels Henrik martensen
Author: Pulkkinen, Antti; Lehtonen, Timo; Riitahuhta, Asko
Pages: 59 - 78
For a mass-producing company, a remarkable change with Lean Production  and Mass Customisation  paradigms has been the tendency to produce goods when the order has been received. As in the mass production the design and production efforts are followed by logistics and sales activities of different forms, in mass customisation the order is quite the opposite. In the latter paradigm the product is not only made to order, but also designed to order. Actually, the design approach can vary from pure standardisation to pure customisation. Corresponding to these approaches there is a continuum of product structuring strategies between standardization and customisation . Apart from structuring the product, it is vital to structure also the delivery processes and systems to enable fast and reliable deliveries.  Traditionally, a product is also delivered to order in projecting business. Most of the work is done to the order, i.e. the product is sold and designed, some ofthe components are made, and most of assembly is done to order. Thus, projecting can be held as the opposite paradigm to the mass production and close to the mass customisation. However, a typical case of projecting is different from the case of mass customization, e.g. the production volume is much less in projecting. In fact, the change from projecting to systemic customization is as significant as for the mass production with the mass customization. The aspects of change from mass production to lean production  or mass customization  have already been studied. Instead, in this paper we study the relation in structuring product and business for a projecting company, aiming to improve the engineering productivity. The approach is quite different from the mentioned studies. We have found that not a single product structuring strategy, like pure standardization, is adequate. We argue that many product structuring strategies can and should be applied in order to support and balance the engineering design in a projecting company. This is valid even in a single product family, as we presented in the case company.