A process to aid investment in manufacturing technology within aerospace
The work presented in this thesis is a culmination of a collaborative venture between Matra BAe Dynamics and the Department of Enterprise Integration at Cranfield University. Initially the thesis examines the Engineering Doctorate philosophy, before describing the collaborator's history and the background to the decision to formulate a structured process to aid investment in manufacturing technology. The findings of an extensive literature review are described accompanied by the results of two supporting industrial studies initiated to complement the theoretical work. The literature review and studies revealed a concern about the degree of planning conducted prior to the adoption of manufacturing technology and how insufficient planning can have a negative impact on the implementation of the chosen investment. Further investigation highlighted an awarenesso f this being the problem within industry, yet it also revealed a lack of time and resources to take corrective action. The thesis then extends to the development of a process model constructed using the findings from the literature review and the industrial studies. The process model presents a structured process for investing in manufacturing technology consisting of a series of activities designed to guide managers through the planning and implementation stages of an investment. A third stage is proposed consisting of activities designed to encourage planning for future investments using the results from past investments as guides. Following a review of possible techniques for developing a process aid from the process model, HTML was selected and, based on a series of established requirements, a process aid was constructed. An industrial case study was undertaken to validate the process model and prove that the process is robust. Finally, recommendations for future work are presented and proposals for future developments are outlined.