Forthcoming articles

International Journal of Agile Systems and Management

International Journal of Agile Systems and Management (IJASM)

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International Journal of Agile Systems and Management (12 papers in press)

Regular Issues

  • A multipath methodology to promote ergonomics, safety and efficiency in agile factories   Order a copy of this article
    by Silvia Ceccacci, Marco Matteucci, Margherita Peruzzini, Maura Mengoni 
    Abstract: An important area of risk management practice for manufacturing companies relates to the prevention of injuries and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). The greater benefits can be achieved where a preventive approach is used, based on ergonomic design of workplaces and attention to human requirements and limitations as well as human-machine interaction principles. The research aims at providing a pragmatic approach to support the application of ergonomic risk management in practice. It defines a multipath methodology to investigate human factors impacting on safety by considering the specific workspace, the adopted tools, the overall production environment and the workers activity. An industrial case study is described to illustrate the methodology and demonstrate the benefits for companies. Results suggest that the proposed multipath methodology allow to effectively assist analysts in the definitin of crucial risk factors and selection of proper ergonomics assessment and measurement tools accordign to the specific context of application.
    Keywords: Ergonomics; Human-Centered Design; Risk Management; Design methods; Digital Manufacturing.

  • Analysis of agile supply chain enablers for an Indian manufacturing organisation   Order a copy of this article
    by Bharat Singh Patel, Atul Kumar Tiwari, Manish Kumar, Cherian Samuel, Goutam Sutar 
    Abstract: The contemporary manufacturing companies are making endeavours to implement agility in their supply chain to become competitors in highly uncertain and fast changing business environment. To be truly agile, a supply chain must possess a number of distinguishing characteristics which can be called as Agile Supply Chain (ASC) enablers. Again, to focus and attentive to all agility enablers effectively is not economical. Thus, to overcome this problem an AHP based framework is proposed in this study that would help the supply chain managers to assign relative importance to various agility enablers. The objective of present work is to categorise ASC enablers and examine its relative importance for better implementation of agility in perspective of an Indian manufacturing industry. This study deploys, Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), a popular Multi-Criteria Decision Making (MCDM) tool as a solution methodology, such that the decision problem breaks into hierarchy of different levels constituting goal, criteria and alternatives. A case study of a North India based manufacturing organisation is presented, in which four experts from the case-organisation and two experts from academia are contemplating to reach consensus for the pair-wise comparison of criteria and alternatives. The results show that there are three enablers namely virtual enterprises, customer satisfaction and adaptability are among the top priority enablers; enabler collaborative relationship is the moderate priority enabler and remaining three enablers i.e. use of information technology, market sensitivity and flexibility are the lowest priority enablers. To effectively implement agility in the supply chain, this study proposes that the manufacturing industries need to focus on the most important ASC enablers and also address the enablers with the least important at a later stage.
    Keywords: Agile manufacturing; Agile supply chain; Agile supply chain enablers; Analytic hierarchy process (AHP); Flexibility; Customer satisfaction; Adaptability.

  • Multidisciplinary Design Automation A Conceptual Framework for Working with Product Model Extensions   Order a copy of this article
    by Tim Heikkinen 
    Abstract: Design automation can be used to support efficient information handling and knowledge processing in computer-based product modelling, as well as make possible new design exploration and optimisation capabilities. To be able to utilise and manage design automation systems over time, it is important to understand how the disciplinary methods and models are dependent on each other through the product model constituents and then how these relations should be built to support maintenance, leveraging and future reuse. Awareness of the concrete representation of relations could support the systems traceability and transparency, and depending on the chosen technique, comprehension and extendability can be affected. This paper presents a conceptual framework for how a set of product model constituents are, can and to some extent, should be extended to define relations in multidisciplinary design automation systems.
    Keywords: Multidisciplinary design automation; system relations; extended product model.

  • CT Based Agile 3D Printing System For Pre-operative Planning Of Orthopaedic Surgeries   Order a copy of this article
    by Ton Tron, Wencheng Liu, Bernard Chen, Andrey Molotnikov, Xinhua Wu 
    Abstract: Addressing the increase in complexity and number of orthopaedic surgeries especially in the aging population is a major challenge to orthopaedic surgeons. The availability of physical model of patient-specific bones can benefit pre-operative planning of surgeries and lead to better surgical options and improved outcomes. This paper describes a CT-based agile 3D printing system for manufacturing patient-specific bones that can be used for pre-operative planning and assist in the choice and application of orthopaedic implants.
    Keywords: 3D printing; Computed tomography (CT); Structure of bones; Orthopaedic surgery; Pre-operative planning.

  • LEAN SIX SIGMA PRACTICES A COMPETITIVE PRIORITY IN SMEs: A CRITICAL REVIEW   Order a copy of this article
    by Harsimran Singh Sodhi 
    Abstract: Purpose:The purpose of this paper is to systematically report about the literature of Lean Six Sigma (LSS) addressing various aspects of its application like: year wise publications of LSS, applications of LSS in terms of geographical basis and on the basis of nature of industries and also to find the various barriers and problems associated with the successful implementation of LSS. Design/ Methodology: Present research is based upon a systematic literature review of LSS publications in past decades, i.e. from 1990 to 2018. Total number of 127 research articles have been reviewed. Well known database searches including EBSOC, Science direct, Emerald, Google Scholar etc. has been consulted. Findings:Number of issues related to LSS are highlighted in this article, which includes various critical factors responsible for its implementation, benefits of LSS, limitations and barriers associated with its implementation. Practical Implications:Referring to the present scenario of manufacturing industry it is becoming highly important for the practitioners to be aware of various aspects, advantages, critically important factors, limitations and tools and techniques of LSS implementation process. Therefore present paper will present valuable insight to the practitioners. Originality and Value: Present study predicts that USA is highly utilizing LSS as waste management technique in its various production and service sector and LSS also found its high demand in automobile sector as well.
    Keywords: Lean Manufacturing; Six Sigma; Lean Six Sigma; Literature Review.

  • Towards the democratisation of design: A generalised capability model for FDM   Order a copy of this article
    by Mark Goudswaard, Ben Hicks, Aydin Nassehi 
    Abstract: The manufacture of functional parts via Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) is inhibited by a lack of understanding of the manufacturing process itself. This results in parts having unpredictable and unreliable mechanical properties. Correspondingly, this paper considers the incorporation of Capability Profiles (CPs) in the design process for FDM as a solution. The evolved requirements of CPs for FDM when compared to traditional subtractive processes are considered and the necessary process information that would be incorporated within them is presented. A review of existing literature of the effect of process parameters on mechanical properties of FDM parts identifies process variability and the effects of shape and scale as areas currently insufficiently studied. To address this, a programme of tensile tests are conducted revealing i) significant variation (26%) in identical test specimens ultimate tensile strength ; ii) that properties do not scale linearly with specimen size; and iii) that cross-sectional shape directly impacts mechanical performance. The results of these tests are pooled with those from existing literature to define the parameters that need to be included within a capability profile for FDM. The functionality of such a capability profile is shown by demonstrating how these parameters would be used to determine the mechanical properties of an artefact.
    Keywords: Democratisation of Design; Filament Deposition Modelling; Mechanical Testing; Material Testing; Capability Profiles.

  • Learning organization as technology for the socio-economic paradigm implementation   Order a copy of this article
    by Nataša Rup?i? 
    Abstract: The paper discusses prospects of the paradigm shift and proposes the learning organization concept as the technology for the implementation of the learning socio-economic paradigm. The learning socio-economic concept can be described as an overarching business model or a paradigm, providing governing principles regarding interests of major stakeholders. The proposed learning organization structure-behaviour platform can be analysed from the organizational and individual perspective. The proposed concept based on the learning organization premises can contribute to the development of the social democratic process and welfare so the main social challenge within the learning framework becomes stimulating positive manifestations of cooperation and complexity as well as increasing behavioural variety as a means of fighting entropy. The paper therefore represents an attempt to provide a descriptive and normative guidance for developing a model for modern business making in terms of personal growth, business excellence and social inclusiveness and sustainability.
    Keywords: paradigm; socio-economic paradigm; learning socio-economic paradigm; learning organization.

Special Issue on: Agile approaches for Transdisciplinary Engineering

  • Knowledge management support in the engineering change process in small and medium-sized companies   Order a copy of this article
    by Joze Tavcar 
    Abstract: Knowledge management (KM) in the engineering change (EC) management process is crucial for any manufacturing enterprise. Systematically gathered, analysed and interpreted professional experiences can prevent technical problems, unnecessary costs and unnecessary ECs. A successful implementation of KM requires a holistic and transdisciplinary approach. The main contribution of the paper is the model for KM in five steps that is integrated into the engineering change process. Failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) and product history files are the documents, used to manage the knowledge, related to a specific product. Product history files should contain explanations of decisions that have been made. Supporting activities for applying KM should include a campaign to raise the awareness and special attention should be put on transfer of tacit knowledge that can be stimulated by mix teams of senior and fresh engineers. The content of the acquired knowledge should be checked periodically and the analysis should be followed by corrective measures.
    Keywords: Knowledge management; engineering change; tacit knowledge; product history file; lessons learned; knowledge-sharing.

  • Developing Agile Platform Assets Exploring Ways to Reach Beyond Modularization at Five Product Development Companies   Order a copy of this article
    by Dag Raudberget, Fredrik Elgh, Roland Stolt, Joel Johansson, Martin Lennartsson 
    Abstract: The use of a product platform has been acknowledged as a strategic enabler for product family development and mass customization. However, many companies struggle with adopting the common platform approach building upon pre-defined modules and components as it constrains the fulfilment of unique customer requirements and a rapid introduction of new technologies. These are the conditions under which manufacturing companies acting as suppliers operates, where unique solutions are delivered to different business customers, market segments or brands. This work reports the results from case studies of platform development conducted in collaboration with five product developing and manufacturing companies. The focus of this paper is on their initial states; including how they work with their product concept before a development project is started, the character of requirements and the adoption of product platforms. The main contribution of this work is a presentation of criteria on, and identification of, new platform elements termed Design Assets. These are introduced as a means to enable diverse types of resources to be reused in a company and a pragmatic way to bridge the gap between the physical products and the knowledge, tools and methods needed to realise these.
    Keywords: Modularization; platform; customization; supplier; engineer-to-order; design asset; platform element; industrial collaboration; case study.

  • Glencoe - A Tool and a Methodology to Manage Variability within the Product Development Process   Order a copy of this article
    by Georg Rock, Christian Bettinger, Anna Schmitt 
    Abstract: Manufacturers of all business areas are faced with growing customer demands and the corresponding complexity of their products. The need to offer highly customised variants becomes obvious especially in the automotive industry. New car models and respective variants with configurable features are offered to customers in increasingly shorter intervals. However, the production costs are expected to remain stable. A known industry approved approach to systematically design customisable products at reasonable costs are multivariant product lines: product line engineers compose models describing common and distinctive product features as well as their dependencies. Subsequently these models constitute the basis for formal analyses and optimisations of the corresponding product lines. In this paper we address typical problems in this area and how the presented methodology handles these problems. The free to use web application Glencoe implements main parts of this methodology. It is shown how Glencoe can be employed in industrial practice.
    Keywords: Variability Management; Development Process; Feature Model; Product Line; Visualisation; Formal Analysis.

  • A proposal of integrated worker-monitoring system towards ergonomic manufacturing environment   Order a copy of this article
    by Teruaki Ito, Seri Rahayu Kamat 
    Abstract: Relationship between Japan and Malaysia is getting closer in academia as well as in industry. As a result, critical issues have been raised and shared among the researchers from both countries, which encourages many research activities to solve the issues. One of the critical issues would be an ergonomic issue. Ergonomic consideration on workers in manufacturing work has been attracted attention by industries in Malaysia. Physical safety and mental stability, which would be offered to workers by a well-designed ergonomic work environment, could not only provide job satisfaction to the workers, but also could enhance productivity in manufacturing work not only in Malaysia but also in Japan, or any other countries. This study develops a prototype of ergonomics working monitoring system to evaluate working posture in a manufacturing work environment. Integrating the environmental measurements and body posture measurement, a prototype monitoring system called ErgoPEM (Ergonomic Posture and Environment Monitoring system) was developed towards ergonomic manufacturing environment. The analysis of worker posture on RULA (Right Upper Limb Assessment) was applied to ErgoPEM. Reviewing the experimental results using ErgoPEM in a manufacturing industry at welding assembly section, this paper discusses the feasibility of this idea as a solution to the ergonomics issues in manufacturing industries.
    Keywords: TMAC; international collaboration; ergonomics risk factor; monitoring system; working posture; working environment.

  • A Should Costing approach for manufacturing companies   Order a copy of this article
    by Marco Mandolini, Claudio Favi, Margherita Peruzzini, Michele Germani 
    Abstract: One of the most important drivers for developing competitive products is cost. However, scientific and industrial communities are missing an effective cost management framework (including a solid method and a reliable tool) for supporting the product development process, from the initial design phases to procurement. For this reason, the paper presents a holistic should costing methodology able to foster collaboration on cost-oriented solutions among companys departments. The should costing methodology and the related tool enable a systematic review of cost evolution, focusing on the opportunities to reduce costs, from the conceptual design stage through the overall production stages. In addition, the paper presents requirements for efficient implementation of a should-cost tool considering enterprise software solutions already available in manufacturing companies. A couple of companies (product manufacturers) adopted the recommended should costing framework and quantitative and qualitative evaluations of the deployment process are presented as results. The benefits related with the adoption of the proposed should costing approach in relation with the traditional product development process is presented as well.
    Keywords: Should Costing; Design to Cost; Cost estimation; Product Development Process (PDP); Product design; Suppliers selection.