Reference architectures for product families

Processes for developing architectural concepts and designs

Uncontrolled growth of system complexity is a key challenge facing the high-tech industry today. It may lead to slower innovation, reduced system reliability, as well as unacceptable growth in development resources or time-to-market.

The uncontrolled growth of system complexity can be combated by finding the right feature sets, development concepts, system structures and mechanisms. They are the essentials of a ‘reference architecture’, which operates as a backbone for developing a product family. It represents the company’s guidelines for system design, combining the ‘what’ with the ‘how-to’. As such, it incorporates a concise integration of key solution patterns that addresses the interests of all stakeholders.

Reference architectures for product families

Method details

Method description

  1. Define the goals and investigate the system-in-context: analysis using Customer, Application, Functions, Concepts and Realisation (CAFCR) views
  2. Create reference concepts, structures and mechanisms focusing on key elements
  3. Discuss and validate them, then repeat
  4. Present, share insights and create support in the organisation

Research projects

  • Boderc
  • Condor
  • Falcon
  • Genesys


Industrial partners:

  • FEI
  • Océ
  • Vanderlande Industries


Business manager:

Frans Beenker


+31 (0)88-866 5420