Authors: Sumer Aggarwa
Addresses: University of Massachusetts/Boston, Boston, MA 02125-3393, USA
Abstract: This paper analyses sixteen emerging hard and soft technologies. First, it assesses and critically examines the contents of recent research publications on these technologies. Next, it identifies various sets of objectives, for which these technologies have been adopted. The third section discusses the characteristics and nuances of the technologies and then summarises the recent experiences of companies with each one of them. Further, the paper focuses on the implementation problems that have been encountered by companies in general with each of these technologies. The final sections outline the important lessons and the critical success factors. In conclusion, the paper stresses that hard technologies do face certain technical problems, but all of these can be overcome through R&D experimentation, over a period of time at substantial costs; whereas soft technologies always encounter serious people problems, which require tremendous efforts in terms of retraining, and attitudinal changes. To make a success of any technology (hard or soft) careful and sustained implementation has been found to be crucial.
Keywords: computer-assisted design; CAD; computer-assisted manufacturing; CAM; emerging technologies; hard technologies; numerical control; NC; soft technologies.
International Journal of Computer Applications in Technology, 1995 Vol.8 No.1/2, pp.48 - 60
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