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The Refinement of Design for Manufacture, Essay Example

Pages: 2

Words: 467

Essay

The research study carried out by Qiang Lu and Lincoln Wood[1] provided an in depth case study analysis for an electronics plant. The research demonstrated the existence and function of four key design elements namely: product design for process execution, process design for process execution, process design for product design and  product design for process design. The research established a link between these design elements and the levels of functional coordination and the capabilities of process engineering.

It was asserted that in order for the management team to support these required processes they first needed to fully define both the roles and method behind process design. The concept of building this level of capability and understanding for managers is considered to be a complex task.  As such process design should be viewed as being a proactive function by management  and an important intermediate concept in the design process for the construction of upstream and downstream components.

The approach of qualitative research enabled the team two put forward two possible directions for future research activities in this area: (i) The conducting of empirical research studies that will incorporate larger sample sizes and (ii) replicating empirical research studies from data and information extracted from other industries. The construction of other quantitative models from other industry examples would greatly enhance the knowledge base of the current research and as such provide a wider appreciation of the topic under review.

The key findings of the research illustrated that process engineering allows for the improvement of technical collaboration amongst functions. Further this acted as an enabling device for both upstream and downstream components thereby having a positive influence on product realisation and the time to market. As such illustrating the improvement in operational competitiveness.  This had important practical applications by demonstrating varying initiatives that could be enacted to support product realization. The establishment of the “design for” elements allowed for the important linkage concepts to the differing levels of process engineering capabilities.

The research was established in Singapore in the mid 1980’s looking at a USA Company that maintained a head office in the USA Initial research was both Empirical and Qualitative by nature and looked at the processes for refinement of design for manufacture.  The use of sensible process design illustrated how the process execution could be simplified and optimized in order to make the execution stages run more smoothly.  There were some limitations in the research being narrowly focused on specific industry types and this was acknowledged in the outlined scope for future research activities in order to facilitate greater depth and meaning to the summary findings from this research paper.

[1] Q.Lu and L.Wood The Refinement of Design for manufacture: Inclusion of Process design, 2006, International Journal of Operations Management Vol 26(10), pp 112301145 : Department of Information Systems at the University of Auckland.

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