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Modular integration is the implementation of interoperable systems or devices that can allow for easy adaptation throughout a specific industry or use case. To put it simply, it breaks down larger systems into basic building blocks to allow for more customization on demand. One example is in the world of healthcare systems as many legacy systems use proprietary technology requiring human intervention to connect them to each other, often with less-than-desirable functionality.
When these building blocks, or modules, are placed back into the system, they’re now integrated. The concept of modular design and integration isn’t anything new, but the consumer market is becoming increasingly dependent on new products and software being compatible with the rest of their personal tech ecosystem. For example, a smart watch needs to be able to communicate with the consumer’s mobile device with little to no effort. The watch then becomes a module of their device network once integrated.
What Are the Benefits of Modular Integration?
The use of modular design in products offers a wide range of benefits, including:
Reduced production costs
Taking a modular approach to product design makes the development and testing phases more affordable. Modular components tend to have shorter cycles of development and can be reused to help test other components. Outsourcing of small component manufacturing can also cut costs thanks to each module needing less attention compared to a full-sized product.
Modularity in product design makes it easier to adjust to individual consumer needs. One example is the Phonebloks modular smartphone concept. The phone would be made in modules known as bloks and would allow consumers to exchange modules for a stronger battery or camera at the cost of other areas of performance that don’t matter to them as much.
Quicker market access
Being able to get a product to market as soon as possible is often the deciding factor for a successful launch. Since each component of a modular product can be manufactured simultaneously, the time from design to market is drastically reduced. New products within the same lineup are most sustainable as well due to reusing existing modules. Upgrades function in the same manner as only the upgraded module needs to be tested.
How Does Modular Integration Impact Product Design?
As the baseline needs and preferences of consumers changes, product manufacturers have to adjust in order to retain their spot in the market. Even B2B products and software sees frequent changes when a new technology is introduced. Implementing modularity into product design allows manufacturers to keep up without a spike in cost.
Engineers looking to promote modular integration don’t need to alter their thought process beyond placing each component into its own module. The role a component plays doesn’t change between a modular and non-modular product making the transition much simpler than many companies anticipate.
When the time comes to bring your modular products to market, Compliance Testing is here to make sure all regulatory and certification requirements are met. Schedule a free consultationtoday to find out just what your product needs to enter its respective market.