CONTACT: GARY GALLUZZO
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0009; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Nov. 4, 1999
UI engineering professor publishes book on industry
and modular design
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- When honeybees enlarge their hive,
they dont dismantle it and start from scratch; they simply construct
additional identical modules to enlarge the honeycomb.
Similarly, modern corporations use modular design
to succeed in the marketplace, according to University of Iowa Industrial
Engineering Professor Peter OGrady, author of a new book titled, "The
Age of Modularity."
OGrady, who will deliver the keynote address
Nov. 19 at the second international "Managing Enterprises" conference
hosted by the School of Management at the University of Newcastle, Australia,
says that modularity is an essential component of corporate success, allowing
companies to deliver a greater variety of products in less time and for less
"Leading companies like Microsoft, Motorola,
Swatch, Sun Microsystems and Boeing have all adopted modularity with great
success," OGrady says. He notes that Boeing is expecting to reduce
space launch costs by as much as 50 percent using modularity, while Ford plans
to cut new plant capital costs by one-half. Also, users of the modular Microsoft
Windows CE operating system have been able to develop operating systems in
weeks, rather than months.
A modular approach to production, according to OGrady,
allows a company to deliver a wide range of products while still maintaining
the efficiency of mass production. He adds that using the Internet in conjunction
with modularity can expand a companys competitive advantage.
"The twin approaches of the Internet and modularity
can be instrumental in reducing product development time by 90-95 percent,
increasing product variety five to 15-fold, reducing capital costs for new
products by one-third to one-half, and reducing costs by an overall 30-60
percent," he said.
OGradys book, published in 1999 by Adams
& Steele, is aimed at students of industrial management, industry management
and the general public.