Modeling the implementation of advanced manufacturing technologies in the Cypriot manufacturing industry
For the Cyprus Manufacturing Industry, previously committed to the production of medium quality standard products, the increased and changing nature of competitive pressures represents a fundamental challenge. The major problems the Cyprus manufacturing industry is facing appear to be labour shortages, together with low product competitiveness and poor production organization. It is widely believed that the introduction of Advanced Manufacturing technologies (AMTs) offers a means of resolving the above problems but their implementation is a risky venture. The main objective of the study was to examine the implementation of AMTs in the Cyprus Manufacturing Industry, identify the factors leading to successful application of these technologies and based on these factors develop an integrated process plan to facilitate their successful implementation. A survey was conducted on a sample of 40 companies using personal interviews based on a purpose designed comprehensive questionnaire. The questionnaire encompassed the international trends in the management and implementation of AMT. Successes and failures have been considered in terms of the Technical, Manufacturing and the Business aspects and influences of each technology. It has been found that the most important factors contributing to the successful implementation of AMT were the level of long term planning, the fitness level of AMT in the existing processes and the attention given to infrastructure preparation and human resource development. Based on the success factors identified an integrated planning model has been developed. The model incorporates all the planning procedures and implementation parameters to be followed in order to ensure successful AMT adoption and implementation. The model addresses the three main stages of AMT adoption and implementation: (a) the planning phase, (b) the selection, transfer and pre-implementation phase and (c) the post implementation phase. For each phase the steps to be followed are fully explored and analysed. Finally the usefulness of the model in facilitating the successful application of AMT is illustrated through two case studies.