Challenges in implementing design-led technologies in small manufacturing companies
IP Publishing Ltd
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The aim of this research was to evaluate the challenges of implementing design-led technologies in small manufacturing companies. Very little research has been conducted in this area with most studies focusing on larger organisations. In addition to case-study material and structured interviews, a methodology was developed that allowed quantitative data to be captured through visual analogue scales. Results showed that design-led technologies had a consistent positive impact on lead times, project costs, product quality, and generate a major operational impact for companies undergoing the transition from manual manufacturing techniques to automated low-volume production. The main barrier to successful long-term product development was identified as the lack of understanding of product design on the part of the company's senior management. This study was significant in that it measured the positive impact of design-led technologies in small manufacturing companies, but balanced this result with an insight into the barriers of long-term product development due to the managerial culture within small companies. These findings have been used to inform practitioners and managers operating in this area and applied to subsequent research and KTP programmes by PDR. This paper was selected from tti2004, an international conference on technology transfer and innovation, and the expanded paper peer-reviewed for a special issue of Industry and Higher Education.
Industry and Higher Education
Millward, H., Dorrington, P. and Lewis, A. (2004) 'Challenges in implementing design-led technologies in small manufacturing companies', Industry and Higher Education, 18(6), pp.377-384
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