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Towards tailoring the product introduction process for low-volume manufacturing industries
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation. (IPR)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5364-8842
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

As the closing phase of product development projects, the product introduction process significantly influences the time to market and product quality. The rapid launching of new products to market aids manufacturing companies in avoiding crucial consequences, such as a loss of market share and revenue and the early obsolescence of products in a globalized market. Therefore, the characteristics and influential factors of the product introduction process must be identified to facilitate the management of new product development projects and to maintain competitiveness for manufacturing companies.

The management and support of product introduction processes in low-volume manufacturing industries require solutions that are tailored to the characteristics and requirements of these industries. However, studies on the characteristics of low-volume manufacturing industries and their influence on the product introduction process are limited. Therefore, the objective of the research presented in this thesis is to develop knowledge about product introduction process and its facilitators in low-volume manufacturing industries by focusing on characteristics of products and production systems in these industries. To fulfil this objective, the characteristics of low-volume manufacturing industries and their influence on the product introduction process were investigated via literature reviews and a multiple-case study. In addition, the facilitators of the product introduction process in low-volume manufacturing industries were examined. A case study was performed, comprising two longitudinal real-time cases and two retrospective cases, all within one Swedish company.

The characteristics of low-volume products and production systems are studied in this research. The identified influences of these characteristics on the product introduction process include few engineering prototypes, limited and uncertain numbers of pre-series productions and the infeasibility of conventional production ramp-up. Other identified influences include the modification of existing products instead of the development of entirely new products, the use of existing production systems with slight modifications for new products, a high frequency of introducing new products, and an extensive focus on the functionality of products instead of their manufacturability.

Finally, the utilization of knowledge and experiences from the development and production of prior similar products was identified as a potential facilitator of the product introduction process in low-volume manufacturing industries. A process was suggested to support the product introduction process in low-volume manufacturing industries in gathering, sharing and using knowledge and experiences from the production of prior similar products. This process can compensate for the lack of opportunities to test and refine products and production systems during the product introduction process in low-volume manufacturing industries. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University , 2015.
Series
Mälardalen University Press Licentiate Theses, ISSN 1651-9256 ; 201
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27847ISBN: 978-91-7485-205-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-27847DiVA: diva2:806046
Presentation
2015-05-29, Filen, Mälardalens högskola, Eskilstuna, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2015-04-17 Created: 2015-04-17 Last updated: 2015-05-08Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Product development in low-volume manufacturing industries: Characteristics and influencing factors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Product development in low-volume manufacturing industries: Characteristics and influencing factors
2015 (English)In: DS 80-4 PROCEEDINGS OF THE 20TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON ENGINEERING DESIGN (ICED 15) VOL 4: DESIGN FOR X, DESIGN TO X, 2015, 145-154 p.Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Product development process has a considerable effect on factors such as time to market and quality of product which are vital for manufacturing companies to remain competitive. Therefore, study of the factors which influence the product development process such as characteristics of products and production systems is necessary to support and improve the product development process. Since most of the studies have been conducted in the context of high-volume manufacturing industries, the influences of characteristics of low-volume products and production systems on the product development process in such industries have not been considered sufficiently. In this paper, characteristics of low-volume products and production systems, their inter-relations and their influences on the product development process have been studied through a multiple case study. A general map of characteristics of low-volume products and production systems and their inter-relations was presented in this paper. Moreover, the influences of these characteristics on product development process including the reduced complexity of the process and lack of opportunities for test and refinement were discussed.

Keyword
ew product development; product introduction; low-volume; production preparation
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27844 (URN)2-s2.0-84979696872 (Scopus ID)
Conference
International Conference on Engineering Design 2015 ICED15, 27-30 Jul 2015, Milan, Italy
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2015-04-17 Created: 2015-04-17 Last updated: 2016-08-18Bibliographically approved
2. Product introduction process in low-volume manufacturing industries: a case study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Product introduction process in low-volume manufacturing industries: a case study
(English)In: Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, ISSN 1741-038X, E-ISSN 1758-7786Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to understand how the characteristics of low-volume manufacturing industries influence the product introduction process and factors which can facilitate that process in low-volume manufacturing industries.

Design/methodology/approach: A literature review in combination with a multiple-case study were used to achieve the purpose of the paper. The multiple-case study was based on two product development projects in a low-volume manufacturing company.

Findings: The main identified characteristics of the product introduction process in low-volume manufacturing industries were a low number of prototypes, absence of conventional production ramp-up, reduced complexity of the process, failure to consider the manufacturability of the products due to an extensive focus on their functionality, and increased complexity of resource allocation. It was determined that knowledge and experiences from prior production of similar products could serve as a facilitator of the manufacturing process.

Research limitations/implications: The main limitation of this study is that the identified characteristics and facilitating factors are confined to the internal variables of the studied company. A study of the role of external variables during the product introduction process such as suppliers and customers could be the subject of future studies.

Practical implications: This research will provide practitioners in low-volume manufacturing industries with general insight about the characteristics of the product introduction process and the aspects that should be considered during the process.

Keyword
Product development; Production system development; Design-production interface; Low-volume products; industrialisation process
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27843 (URN)
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2015-04-17 Created: 2015-04-17 Last updated: 2015-04-17Bibliographically approved
3. Challenges in the Industrialization Process of Low-Volume Production Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Challenges in the Industrialization Process of Low-Volume Production Systems
2013 (English)In: International Conference on Manufacturing Research 2013, Cranfield, United Kingdom: Cranfield university press , 2013, 39-44 p.Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A critical part of new product development projects is the industrialization process of new products which affects both time and the cost. The industrialization of new products or variants in low-volume production systems has some specific challenges which are caused by characteristics of low-volume products and production systems. Therefore, an exploratory case study is made within two Swedish manufacturing companies to understand these challenges and compare the industrialization process in high and low volume production systems. The results of the multiple case studies indicate four challenges including knowledge transfer from the projects into production, development of the work instructions, the need for a higher level of training of the operators and production system design and the obligatory tailoring of the new products to the existing production systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cranfield, United Kingdom: Cranfield university press, 2013
Keyword
Low-volume high-variety production, production system development, industrialization
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-22239 (URN)978-1-907413-23-0 (ISBN)
Conference
The 11th International Conference on Manufacturing Research 2013 (ICMR2013) Incorporating the 28th National Conference on Manufacturing Research, 19-20 September 2013, Cranfield Univ., UK
Projects
INNOFACTURE - innovative manufacturing developmentxpres
Funder
XPRES - Initiative for excellence in production research
Available from: 2013-11-04 Created: 2013-10-31 Last updated: 2015-04-17Bibliographically approved
4. Start of Production in Low-Volume Manufacturing Industries: Disturbances and Solutions
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Start of Production in Low-Volume Manufacturing Industries: Disturbances and Solutions
2015 (English)In: Advances in Production Management Systems: Innovative Production Management Towards Sustainable Growth, 2015, Vol. 459, 475-483 p.Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Reducing disturbances during start of production of new products is of high importance to assure that products reach the market on-time with the intended quality and volume. Therefore, identification and elimination of sources of such disturbances is necessary. Since the literature about such disturbances in low-volume manufacturing industries are limited, this paper is aimed to identify the common sources of such disturbances and the possible solutions to mitigate them in low-volume manufacturing industries. A multiple-case study has been conducted to achieve this aim. The results show that main sources of disturbances are lack of opportunities to test and refine products, considering the production system “as is” and putting extensive focus on product functionality rather than its manufacturability. Moreover, using the knowledge and experiences from production of previous similar products is identified as a source of learning and compensation for lack of opportunities for test and refinement.

Series
IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, ISSN 1868-4238 ; 459
Keyword
product introduction, low-volume, industrialization, production start-up
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27846 (URN)10.1007/978-3-319-22756-6_58 (DOI)000379664200004 ()2-s2.0-84950143078 (Scopus ID)978-3-319-22755-9 (ISBN)
Conference
IFIP WG 5.7 International Conference on Advances in Production Management Systems, APMS 2015; Tokyo; Japan; 7 September 2015 through 9 September 2015; Code 129439n Management Systems, September 7-9, 2015 - Tokyo, Japan
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2015-04-17 Created: 2015-04-17 Last updated: 2016-08-18Bibliographically approved

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