Modular products and portfolios
Increase reuse and reduce development costs

Modular products and portfolios
Increase reuse and reduce development costs

Modular systems:
Configurability and maximum complexity control

  • Configurability through modular product kits
  • Cost reduction through optimal variance, reuse and purchasing advantages
  • Map customer-specific and configurable scopes in a common structure
  • Encapsulate and control variance and complexity


Modular Products Design Re-use Product Structure
Functional Structure

Modular systems:
This is how it works

Modular products are not an end in themselves; they support business goals. However, different goals require different modularization strategies. Here are some examples:

  • Improving the tendering and quoting process
  • Reduction of engineering efforts for customer-specific scopes
  • Optimizing supplier strategy by bundling system suppliers
  • Increasing the degree of reuse and designing product platforms with a high proportion of common parts

What these strategies have in common, however, is the implementation plan for a modular product portfolio:

  1. Portfolio segmentation and differentiation of target applications.
  2. Differentiation by segments from fully configurable products to orders with high customer-specific scopes
  3. Optimization of internal variance at component level and modularization concept derived from it
  4. Optimization of the associated processes in order processing and product development
  5. Enabling the independent design of the modular system

In the sense of a fast realization of the project benefit, we do not separate analysis and optimization, but choose a combined, agile approach with manageable project scopes and fast “time-to-value”.


Each of our orders is unique — how can modularization help me?

The success factor of mechanical engineering is the ability to offer customized products. On closer inspection, however, it becomes clear that a significant proportion of orders could be configured at least in part from modules. Our projects show that this would generally apply to at least half of all orders — if one were able to identify these 50%.

Simply put, each order may be unique, but it usually consists of elements that can be represented at least in part with a module strategy.

Bei uns ist alles ein Modul, aber vor lauter Modulen kennen wir uns nicht mehr aus!

A permanently successful modularization strategy is good at three things:

  1. It is methodologically sound, i.e. it offers proven product architecture strategies on how to set up a modular concept — this includes, for example, the functional structure.
  2. It lives and breathes in practice: Modular product kits must always reflect the reality of the business, otherwise they will not be used in practice or, in the worst case, they will be bypassed.
  3. It is integrated into the processes and systems of product development and order processing.
Wir hatten uns bereits Modularisierungsberatung ins Haus geholt. Hat aber dauerhaft nicht viel gebracht.

Was nicht am Berater liegen muss. Nachhaltig gelingt Modularisierung nur, wenn man sie selbst methodisch, in seinen Abläufen und in seinen Systemen beherrscht. Bleibt man nicht am Ball, dann - das zeigen unsere Daten - sind die hart erkämpften Erfolge nach sechs Jahren wieder dahin.

Beratung ist wichtig für einen guten Start, dann aber benötigt man selbst die methodischen Werkzeuge und die Software für die nachhaltige Umsetzung.

Are there interfaces from METUS software to PLM and ERP systems?

Yes, plenty. The result of our work is a welcome input for PLM systems, ERP applications and configurators.

Product architectures and the corresponding modular product kits are created in METUS Software. From there, the product structures are usually passed on to the product development or order processing systems.

The METUS software is based on an interface bus from the company XPLM. This serves all common systems, including Siemens TeamCenter, ConfigIT and SAP. Some of our partners, such as CAS Software, have also developed their own interfaces to METUS.

In addition, METUS offers a GraphQL interface. The METUS server can be accessed via the http protocol. The output of the data is then in JSON format.

How long does a typical modularization project with ID-Consult take?

Of course, one could say: It depends on the complexity of the products and the portfolio, on the objective and the desired results. But that's not quite true.

We try to carry out our projects in short work packages and to show a clear benefit at the end of each work package. And to build in a kind of breaking point, beyond which the customer can take over himself and we only assume a coaching role. Whether and how quickly our customer takes the driver's seat himself is up to him, but at best this is already the case after four to six weeks.

Is there a trial license for the METUS Software?

Yes, even better: We organize a method training once a quarter (free of charge, of course) in the context of which the participants receive a 30-day test license. You can find more information in the events section of the website.

“Thanks to the METUS methodology and software, we can now better manage the complexity of our development projects.
our development projects better today.”

Stefan List,  Airbus Operations GmbH
Head of Cabin Innovation Strategy & Concepts, Cabin Innovation & Design

“METUS Methodology & Software has introduced us to a unique way to visualize and analyze our complex ring needle holder portfolio.”

Martin Schäuble
Vice President Central R&D, Pools & Operations
Aesculap AG (B. Braun Melsungen AG)

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