Fraunhofer IEM

Develop complex products effectively: Modularization for your manufacturing

Save up to 70 percent development time and reduce ferry production costs by 25 percent: Rising costs, high quality demands and individualized customer requirements require companies to be more flexible. Modularization is one answer to this. We show how this is possible using the example of an award-winning electric high-speed ferry.

Modularization is the key to faster and more efficient product development and thus also to corporate success. Especially in the development of green technologies, speed is of the essence to meet the urgent shift towards emissions neutrality. Fraunhofer IEM and partners in the EU project TrAM have shown how crucial a modular approach can be. The state-of-the-art fast ferry is the first to use new, modular development and production methods in its design and construction.

The ferry was developed using Model-Based Systems Engineering, a kind of "enabler" for greater efficiency and speed in the design and implementation of complex mechanical-electrical systems. A clear advantage of this system is that the experts from all the disciplines involved can work with a common model right from the start, which acts as an "interpreter" between the disciplines. 

However, the consistent modularization not only accelerates and simplifies the development and construction of the ships. It also ensures that the ferries can be operated much more flexibly, economically and sustainably. If, for example, the requirements of a ship change, it can be adapted more easily by replacing individual modules.

At the Hannover Messe, Fraunhofer IEM is presenting a 3D-printed modular model of the ferry, which can be used to illustrate how flexible, cost-effective and consensus-oriented shipbuilding based on the modular principle can work.

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