Towards tailoring the product introduction process for low-volume manufacturing industries
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
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.
Mälardalen University Press Licentiate Theses, ISSN 1651-9256 ; 201
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject Innovation and Design
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27847ISBN: 978-91-7485-205-9OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-27847DiVA: diva2:806046
2015-05-29, Filen, Mälardalens högskola, Eskilstuna, 10:00 (English)
Ritzen, Sofia, Associate professor
Bellgran, Monica, ProfessorBruch, Jessica, Dr.
List of papers