Karl T. Ulrich an author and educator has written extensively about development and product design. According to him, Product architecture is defined as the scheme with which the function of a particular product is allocated to its physical components. Technically product architecture definition is- it is the arrangements of the functional elements of a product into physical chunks that will become the basis or building blocks for that product or a group of products.
What is product architecture? Chunking or organization of the functional elements of a product is Product architecture. The way the chunks or elements interact is product architecture. It plays an important role in designing, making, selling, and repairing a new product. It also involves a linking system and level design and principles of engineering of the system. In simple terms, it refers to the strategy of mapping the function to form. Product architecture is especially relevant to functions pertaining to the research and development (R & D) of an organization. The decisions are particularly taken during the starting or early stages of the process of innovation where the lead role is played by research and development.
The product architecture diagram is given below:
decisions of product architecture relate to planning the product and developing a concept for the same. Some examples are
To elaborate the product change example-
What are product architecture and its types? Product architecture is mainly concerned with the way a product is arranged into physical parts which are components and assemblies. A number of sub-functions are identified after the comprehensive function of the product is reviewed for achieving the overall function. Hence, to carry out sub-functions and subsequently whole functions, parts and assemblies should be assigned.
Product architecture is of two fundamental types-Modular and Integral.
Modular Product Architecture: Well defined components functionally interface with self-contained modules in the modular type. For development and completion of a specific function, a product is organized into many modules. The overall purpose of the product is carried out by the interaction between these modules. The advantages of this type of architecture includes outsourcing and task allocation. Advantages of modular architecture also includes standardization/reuse for the development of new products, scale economies, maintenance and mass customization.
The second type is integral product architecture. In this type, physical elements share the functions. Mapping between functions and components involve greater complexity. However, to make it easier to optimize overall system, components are adapted or designed for specific products.
Product architecture is mainly concerned with the way a product is arranged into physical parts which are components and assemblies. A number of sub-functions are identified after the comprehensive function of the product is reviewed for achieving the overall function.
Modular versus Integral Product Architecture: the arrangement where functions of the product are done by an array of parts that need not be organized or arranged in assemblies are described by the integral design whereas in the modular design particular functions necessary for achieving the overall purpose of the product are identified. The product in integral type is arranged as a small structured and logical framework than in the modular type. The integral design has more advantages than the modular design. Parts and a group of parts are less interchangeable in the modular design whereas product development is done independently and separately in the integral design. There are cost implications for servicing and maintenance.
Product architectural design is the process of collecting and defining software and hardware components and the interfaces for establishing a framework for developing a computer system. A number of architectural styles can be exhibited in software that is built for computer-based systems. In order to represent a software design, software needs an architectural design.
A system category will be described by each style consisting of:
product architecture is essential for designing and introducing new and customized products that can increase sales and at the same time be cost-efficient. For achieving overall function and responding to environmental necessities, product design has become an integral part of the architectural world be it software or hardware.
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