joed1_rev1.pdf (102.1 kB)
Download file

Holonic product design: a process for modular product realisation

Download (102.1 kB)
journal contribution
posted on 13.06.2006, 11:42 authored by Russell MarshallRussell Marshall, Paul Leaney
This paper introduces a fresh perspective on product modularisation and proposes a process for modular product realisation called Holonic Product Design. The holon has recently been adopted from Arthur Koestler’s work to represent subsystem entities within manufacturing systems and the enterprise chain. In addition, it has been embraced as a philosophy for change that attempts to fashion modern manufacturing businesses and manufacturing activity. This paper demonstrates the holon as being equally valid as an approach to product development. Through research at a number of UK companies Holonic Product Design (HPD) is developed and presented as a structured approach to product realisation. Addressing a total view through systems engineering, HPD provides an accessible and customisable modular product development workbook. The efficacy of the new approach is demonstrated through the initial results from a HPD case study. Further work remains in refining the integration of HPD elements and thoroughly testing the approach through a full new product development process.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


75041 bytes


MARSHALL and LEANEY, 2001. Holonic product design: a process for modular product realisation. Journal of Engineering Design, 13(4), pp. 293-304


© Taylor and Francis

Publication date



This article was published in the journal, Journal of Engineering Design [© Taylor and Francis]. It is also available at: