Product development seminar

Product Complexity – kill it or bill it

16 November 2023

Technical University of Denmark
Bygningstorvet 116
Entrance A, room H011
2800 Lyngby

The purpose of this seminar is to present the latest research in product complexity and experience from complexity handling in three state of the art companies. You will get to know how Rockwool successfully managed to reduce the number of SKUs (stock-keeping units) without reducing sales and at the same time increased productivity in the factories.

Atlas Copco will present experiences from a modularization programme that significantly reduced time to market for new products and reduced purchasing and manufacturing costs. GEA will present how a global product configurator manage sales and engineering of high complex solutions.

This seminar has been developed by Hans Nørgaard Hansen (Professor, Head of Department Civil and Mechanical Engineering, DTU) from ATV-SEMAPP’s steering group for production and Niels Henrik Mortensen (Professor, DTU Construct) and Lars Hvam (Professor, DTU Construct).


09:30 - 10:00
Registration and breakfast
10:00 - 10:15
Welcome and introduction
10:15 - 11:00
Control your product range if you want lean and robust business processes

Lars Hvam, Professor DTU Construct

Companies making customized products face a significant challenge in setting up robust and lean business processes in sales, engineering, production and installation of customer tailored products. One of the most important preconditions for obtaining lean and robust business processes is to control and reduce complexity in the product assortment. A product configuration system is capable of controlling the product variants being offered to the customers and thus keeping down possible variations in the product line.

In this presentation, methods for modelling product assortments and for making decisions on which product variants to include/exclude will be presented.

Lars Hvam, Ph.D., is Professor at the Technical University of Denmark. He teaches courses on complexity management and product configuration and has supervised more than 25 Ph.D. projects within this field, and has been the project leader of major research projects.
11:00 - 11:45
How Rockwool successfully has executed a complexity reduction program

Bjørn Rici Andersen, Senior Vice President, Group Operations and Technology, Rockwool A/S

You will get to know how Rockwool successfully managed to reduce the number of SKUs (stock-keeping units) without reducing sales and at the same time increased productivity in the factories.

You will hear about:

  1. Smart Variety using “Active Portfolio Management”
  2. Analysis of “Contribution Margin per hour” from the Theory of Constraints concept
  3. Complexity reduction by SKU reduction – remove non-selling and non-profitable SKU’s from the product portfolio
  4. Product harmonization and consolidation of volumes with strategic global product lines
  5. Continuous focus on production planning policies and processes to reduce change overs in production
Bjørn Rici Andersen is EVP at ROCKWOOL. He works with C-Level & Board, Sustainability Transformation, Technology Leader, Digitalisation, Industry 4.0, Technology Leadership, Operational excellence and Supply Chain Excellence.
11:45 - 12:00
Coffee and networking break
12:00 - 12:45
Top Down Modularization

Niels Henrik Mortensen, Head of Section, Professor, DTU Construct

The presentation will provide an over view of methods for developing modular product and manufacturing architectures. Furthermore 8 number of architecture strategies will be described. A method for identification of the right number of product architectures will be outlined.

Niels Henrik Mortensen is Professor and section head at the department of DTU Civil and Mechanical Engineering. Current research interests include modular maintenance, aligned development of modular product and manufacturing systems, design for sub suppliers and portfolio management.
12:45 - 13:45
Lunch and networking
13:45 - 14:30
How Atlas Copco successfully implemented global modularization

Viktor Vriens, Head of Modularization, Atlas Copco Air Power

At Atlas Copco, we did a big pilot program to answer one key question: “Is modularity a better way to develop, procure, build, sell and maintain a large multi-tier and multi-brand portfolio of industrial air compressors?”.
During this presentation, the findings that led me to answer that question with yes, will be presented. We will explore the effect on organization, systems and processes, customer value, product cost vs. performance and operations.

Viktor Vriens has been with Atlas Copco for eleven years as Project Engineer, Project Leader, Program LEAD, PMO, Program Lead - Modulization and finally as Program and Teamleader.
14:30 - 14:50
Coffee and networking break
14:50 - 15:35
Managing Configuration in Engineering Companies – Examples from GEA Process Engineering

Katrin Kristjansdottir, Senior Manager of Configuration and PMDM, GEA Process Engineering

Engineering companies increasingly apply configurators to manage both the complexity of their product portfolio and the complexity of their product designs. This requires engineering companies to define their standard ranges and to promote those designs in the sales phases by use of configurators. This allows engineering companies to be in control of when they propose a solution requiring extensive engineering. Configuration does not only guide the sales towards the standard solution range but also supports to automate engineering deliverables such as 3D models and 2D drawings when supported with Design Automation.

GEA Process Engineering has used configurators for a long time with a special focus on cost calculations. A few years ago, GEA Process Engineering expanded the use of their configurators to also support the actual engineering by using Design Automation to auto create both the 3D models and the 2D drawings in project execution.

In this presentation Katrin Kristjansdottir will discuss how engineering companies can benefit from configurators and provide examples from the journey of GEA Process Engineering.

Katrin Kristjansdottir is Senior Manager of Configuration and PMDM at GEA Process Engineering. Previously, she has specialized in applying Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) solutions in engineering companies both as a consultant at CPC (2019-2022) and via my PhD & PostDoc studies at DTU where I worked in close collaboration with Topsoe (2014-2019).
15:35 - 16:00
Q&A, conclusions and closing remarks

Registration fee

 DKK 2,625  Members of ATV-SEMAPP and promoting partners listed in the registration form
 DKK 3,125  Non-members
 DKK 1,025  PhD Students
 DKK 395  BSc and MSc students (Membership is free of charge – register here.)

All prices are excluded of Danish VAT 25 %.

The fee includes talks, breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks and access to speakers’ presentations.

Early bird discount of DKK 300,- when registering before 20 October 2023. Early-bird discount does not apply to BSc, MSc and PhD students.


Register – CLICK HERE

Binding registration

Registration is binding, however, substitutions are accepted at any time.

In case of questions please contact us at or at +45 2724 2782/ +45 9351 1276