Title: Towards virtual manufacturing: an implementation framework from feasibility to product development

Authors: Howard Harris, Kym Fraser

Addresses: School of Management, University of South Australia, City West Campus, 47-55 North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia. ' School of Commerce, University of South Australia, City West Campus, 37-44 North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia 5000, Australia

Abstract: This paper presents an implementation framework to implement Cellular Manufacturing (CM). One of the critical success factors linked to CM has been its implementation, with evidence indicating that firms converting to CM often struggle with implementation and achieve results that are less than anticipated. In this study, a multiphase implementation framework is developed that recognises the importance of both technical and human aspects while providing practitioners with a holistic view of the many activities and issues associated with the implementation process. To evaluate the usefulness of the new framework, a manufacturing cell is implemented which resulted in operators gaining a better understanding of the process and a greater ownership of the operations within the cell. This lead to significant improvements in manufacturing costs and higher levels of operator involvement in both process and product development.

Keywords: cellular manufacturing; CMS implementation; product development; virtual manufacturing; case study; manufacturing cells; critical success factors; process development; operator involvement.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2010.032993

International Journal of Product Development, 2010 Vol.11 No.1/2, pp.136 - 162

Published online: 06 May 2010 *

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