Title: Challenges in managing the convergence of information and product design technology in a small company

Authors: Andrew T. Walters, Huw Millward

Addresses: National Centre for Product Design & Development Research (PDR), University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC), Western Ave, Cardiff, CF5 2YB, UK. ' National Centre for Product Design & Development Research (PDR), University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC), Western Ave, Cardiff, CF5 2YB, UK

Abstract: In a manufacturing environment, product development technologies have the potential to be a central tool in the organisation of administrative and manufacturing tasks. Such integration of technology and information presents a strategic avenue for creating efficiencies in the development of highly complex products. This paper examines the implementation of a sophisticated computer aided design (CAD) package in a small company. The strategic aim was to bring components into the CAD environment, supporting each component with procurement information. The intention was that this would lead to: reduced design cycle times through the development of parts libraries; improved efficiencies in planning; and reduced manufacturing cycle times. In a small commercial environment, such strategic development presents a challenging task.

Keywords: advanced manufacturing technology; AMT; product development; small companies; product design technology; computer-aided design; CAD; technology management; information technology; procurement information; parts libraries; planning efficiency; cycle times; small firms.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2011.038590

International Journal of Technology Management, 2011 Vol.53 No.2/3/4, pp.190 - 215

Published online: 12 Feb 2011 *

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