Synergistic development of mechatronic products in value-added networks

Problem setting

The efficient product development of mechatronic devices is of particular importance for the German industry. However, the increasing complexity of those products forces companies to align the product development process more strongly with the specific, individual customer expectations. In order to create an efficient but also flexible development process, the vertical integration and thereby the active participation of suppliers in the development process is indispensable. Unfortunately, the optimal design and coordination of cross-company product developments is often foredoomed to fail due to the established, traditional supplier relationships. In this case, uncoordinated development processes subsist which lead to inefficiencies such as time delays in the tendering and development process, imprecise forecasts of costs and delivery time, mismatches between product design and customer expectations or delayed error detection within the process. In turn, these inefficiencies usually entail cost-intensive corrective actions.

Objective & Approach

The aim of the project SynProd is to create an interdisciplinary methodology for the efficient configuration of cross-company product development processes. The vision of the project is to enable companies to instantly submit a realistic tender in respond to individual customer queries through substantiated estimations of development time and costs and resulting product functionality. To that end, already at early stages of the development process all potentials and restrictions along the entire supply chain, such as limited capacities or methods of manufacturing of the suppliers, have to be considered. The instant and continuous provision of relevant information throughout the entire network is another key factor of successful product developments. This is particularly true for the development of mechatronic products, where the components are strongly linked. Here, the prompt availability of information cannot only generate time and cost savings through the avoidance of unnecessary process iterations.  Rather, crucial quality improvements of the final product are also expectable due to an enhanced harmonization of its separate parts and components. The idea behind the SynProd-Method is illustrated in the following picture.

In order to optimize the product development processes, the following steps will be performed during the project:

  1. Extensive analysis of the cross-company product development processes of the network considered as seen from the three perspectives “product”, “production” and “business management”
  2. Deduction and description of interdisciplinary requirements and dependencies within the product development process
  3. Integration of the three perspectives through a techno-economic methodology for the design of a relational system
  4. Development of appropriate combinations of methods for an improved network knowledge and information management
  5. Definition of guidelines concerning the network configuration and the generation of decision rules which will provide critical management support within the development process

For practical purposes, the created methodology targeting a synergistic development of mechatronic products will be converted into a prototypical software tool.

The main objective of the IWF is to represent the knowledge about production systems and to provide information about production processes and their limiting parameter into product development. This linkage between product and manufacturing enables to consider knowledge from suppliers directly in early stages of the product development process and thereby increase product quality and reduce development time.

Further information can be found on the web page www.synprod.de.


  • W. Gessmann GmbH
  • intrObest GmbH & Co. KG
  • intrOnic GmbH & Co. KG
  • Georg Frank & Co. GmbH
  • INTENSIO Software und Consulting GmbH


Keywords: Produktentwicklung, Wertschöpfungsnetzwerke, Produktionsmodellierung


2012 until 2015


Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)


  last changed 06.05.2019
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