Modularization of Test Rigs

University essay from KTH/Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.)


This Master of Science Thesis contains the result of a product development project, conducted in collaboration with Scania CV AB in Södertälje. Scania has a successful history in vehicle modularization and therefore wanted to investigate the possibility to modularize their test rigs as well, in order to gain various types of benefits. The section UTT (Laboratory Technology) at Scania, where the project was conducted, had however little experience in product modularization. The author of the thesis therefore identified a specific test rig and modularized it by using appropriate methods. Moreover, a new method was developed by the author, in order to modularize the test rig according to both product complexity and company strategies. This was done by adapting the DSM (Design Structure Matrix) with strategies from the MIM (Module Indication Matrix), before clustering it with the IGTA++ clustering algorithm. The result of the different modularization methods was finally evaluated and compared, before choosing the most suitable modular test rig architecture. The chosen architecture was then analyzed, in order to determine potential benefits that it could offer. Another purpose of the thesis was to answer the research questions about the possibility to combine a DSM and MIM, and if that would improve the result when modularizing a product. The thesis also aimed at providing the project owners with a theoretical background in the field of product modularization and System-Level design (embodiment design). The conclusions of the thesis is that the chosen modular test rig architecture has 41% less complexity (compared with the original architecture) and could potentially increase the flexibility, reduce the risk of design mistakes and reduce the development time by up to 70%. It would also be theoretically possible to reuse up to 57% of the modules, when redesigning the test rig in the future. The thesis also identified that it is possible to transfer some information from a MIM and import it to a DSM, which answered one of the research questions, it was however not possible to claim that it will always improve the result.

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