The future of E/E architectures in connected environments: A study to guide design and development

Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Johr, Marius
Abstract The internet of things is assessed as one of the most disruptive technological advances that are predicted to transform life, business and the global economy. Moreover, almost every industry is impacted from this technological disruption due to the great versatileness of connected functionalities. Thereby the increasing connectivity impacts especially electric and electronic (E/E) architectures, since they can be seen as the main innovation drivers in modern products. However, companies moving towards more connected products encounter different challenges in terms of design and development of connected products, which calls for a shift in the way E/E architectures are designed and developed in connected environments. This thesis aimed to examine which characteristics futureproof designs of connected E/E architectures feature and how such architectures are to be developed from a strategical, processual and organizational perspective. Further it was examined if design and development approaches differ for the respective applications and reasons for these differences were investigated. This aim was approached by a three stepped process. First a literature study was conducted theoretically analysing the impact of increasing connectivity on the general structure of E/E architectures. Second, an empirical study in form of expert interviews was conducted trying to understand how R&D organizations across different industries design and develop connected E/E architectures. Lastly, the insights gained from the interviews were consolidated into a conceptual decision model guiding companies in design and development of connected E/E architectures. The literature study indicated the emergence of a new functional layer in connected E/E architectures potentially adding additional complexity to the already existing one. Based on the empirical industry study it could be concluded that there certainly is no one-sizefits- all approach for designing and developing future connected E/E architectures. Insights regarding different drivers, design and development approaches followed by the interviewed companies were gained. The results of the interviews were consolidated by defining 37 criteria describing drivers, architectural design and development. The criteria were linked to each other by conducting an interdependence analysis. Finally, dependency profiles were formulated summarizing identified findings and enabling to decide upon suitable design and development characteristics.
Produktion, Innovation och entreprenörskap (nyttiggörande), Maskinteknik, Production, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Mechanical Engineering
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