The article focuses on the benefits of digital prototyping for manufacturing industries in Australia. Digital prototyping presents product design teams with the ability to build, explore, and test new products before they become a physical reality. In addition, the digital prototyping solution allows collaboration of designs. Moreover, digital prototyping can provide designers with the ability to build a complete digital simulation of a product.
MOTHERBOARDS, INDUSTRIAL research, PRODUCT mixes, COMMERCIAL products, NEW product development, MANUFACTURES, RAPID prototyping, PRODUCTION planning, and COMPUTER interfaces
Purpose - Improvement of flexibility is among the top concerns of manufacturing managers, however, managers are advised to choose the appropriate types of flexibility needed in their plants. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of manufacturing proactiveness dimensions (manufacturing involvement, commitment to manufacturing technology advancements and multi-skilled workforce developments, and manufacturing's integration with marketing and design functions) on three types of manufacturing flexibility (new product, volume, and product mix). Design/methodology/approach - Using the data collected from 108 motherboard manufacturers in Taiwan, this study develops valid and reliable measures of manufacturing proactiveness and flexibility. The study used multiple regression analysis to examine how different proactiveness dimensions link with specific types of manufacturing flexibility. Findings - The study found that manufacturing involvement, multi-skilled workforce developments, and manufacturing/design integration have significant positive effects on new product flexibility. Statistical results indicated that manufacturing technology advancements, multi-skilled workforce developments, and manufacturing/design integration lead to better product mix flexibility. In addition, manufacturing involvement, manufacturing technology advancements, and manufacturing/marketing collaboration are determinants of volume flexibility. This research provides deeper insights regarding the impact of manufacturing flexibility upon the proactiveness programs. Research limitations - This research focuses on the effect of manufacturing proactiveness only on external manufacturing flexibility. It does not address the issue of internal manufacturing flexibility. The use of a single indicator for the manufacturing flexibility measure may limit the generalization of the statistical results. Practical implications - These findings have two main managerial implications. With rigorous and comprehensive measures of proactiveness, investigations of its impact on competitive priorities (e.g. delivery, cost, and quality) are issues to be addressed in future studies of manufacturing strategy. Outcomes of the research also enable practitioners to implement the appropriate practices of manufacturing proactiveness based on the specific types of manufacturing flexibility which their plants require. Originality/value - The uniqueness of this paper is twofold. It is the only empirical study to explore the relationship between manufacturing proactiveness and flexibility from the manufacturing strategy process aspect. This may inspire researchers to focus on other related process issues such as the effect of supplier or customer involvement on manufacturing flexibility. The study also generated five dimensions of manufacturing proactiveness that differ from previous empirical works which overlooked the critical factors of manufacturing/design integration and manufacturing/marketing - collaboration. Future researchers and practitioners should be able to apply these results to study and assess related issues of manufacturing proactiveness more rigorously and precisely. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
MANUFACTURING industries, TECHNOLOGY, COMMERCIAL products, CARBON nanotubes, and LASERS
The article offers information on new technologies and products included in the list "Innovations That Could Change the Way You Manufacture" compiled by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) in 2009. SME claims buckypaper or thin sheet of carbon nanotube aggregate has potential as a building material for aerospace vehicles. A fiber-optic laser is used in micro-laser-assisted machining. It is anticipated that prototyping and manufacturing will become easier with personal fabrication.