Experimental Lab for the Development of Manufacturing Systems and Supply Chains (network project)


    Based on the current status of a company?s products and markets, it is possible to create a concept which captures the strategic role of manufacturing systems and supply chain(s) while providing a broad overview of the changes this company must make to reach the status targeted for these systems 5 - 10 years down the road. Such a manufacturing concept clarifies how the various components of the company?s manufacturing systems and supply chain(s) can be integrated, thus enabling each manager or worker to locate his/her own tasks within the whole. Moreover, such a concept makes it possible to evaluate the future performance of a manufacturing system or supply chain before it is implemented or realized. The incipient aim of this two-year network project is to develop a script containing methodology modules and a toolbox (guidelines, methods, tools, techniques and case-examples) to assist change agents in setting up company-specific concept development processes, or tracks. Each track will be designed to turn out an innovative, comprehensive manufacturing concept for a company?s future supply chain(s) and manufacturing systems via a broad, dialogue-based collaborative process. Importantly, such a track will make it possible for participants in the development process to evaluate the concept?s future performance and to experience it in action. At the same time, the project is geared to generate the alpha version of an IT-based knowledge management system (KMS). This KMS will be customized to support the manufacturing concept development process by expediting relevant information and by ensuring that any ideas, analyses and suggestions which arise during this process are captured. This project is launched within the framework of the Experimental Laboratory for Production Development (ELP), which is presently under construction. When operational, ELP will provide a setting complete with all the necessary equipment to stimulate and support groups of researchers and/or students together with managers and employees from industrial enterprises in developing, evaluating and experiencing a manufacturing or supply chain concept, or vision. More than 20 years of experience in cooperating with industrial partners in developing manufacturing concepts have gone into the design of ELP. On the one hand, the lab will support a number of different activities related to the dissemination of the results of CIP research to the outside world. For instance, industrial firms will be able to access both national and international research findings via the laboratory. And by participating in laboratory activities, individual firms will be given the chance to work with their own focal problems and develop new manufacturing concepts and solutions. In addition, the lab is to act as the testing grounds for methods and tools in conjunction with student projects. In the final stage of the project, 10 ? 15 facilitators will be trained to act as pilots for ELP?s future. This facilitator staff will consist of project managers in industrial companies and consultants from the established GTS (Authorized Technological Service Institutes) system, in addition to employees from CIP. Action research is the venue through which the aforementioned script and KMS will be developed. When these components have been developed, they, together with the ELP facilities and the facilitator function will be subject to trial runs and testing in a minimum of five case-studies involving a range of different sizes and types of Danish companies. Spring, 2002 saw the developing and testing of a prototype version of the script, a process involving two Danish industrial companies. And a long-term ELP pilot study involving a single case company is scheduled for fall, 2002. CIP project group: Professor Jens O Riis (project co-manager), Niels G. Rytter (project co-manager), Nuran Acur, Ian Semey, Lillian Buus, Henrik Jørgensen, Linda Nielsen-Englyst, Chengbo Wang, Iskra Dukovska-Popovska Network partners: Professor Riitta Smeds, Assistant Professors Minna Forséen and Päivi Haho ? Helsinki University of Technology; Professor Jim Luxhøj ? Rutgers University, USA; Professor Lone Dircknick-Holmfeld ? Department of Communication, Aalborg University; Professor Ken Platts ? Cambridge University, England Project duration: spring 2002 ? summer 2004
    Effective start/end date31/12/200331/12/2003