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Title: Exploring the adoption of cyber-physical systems (CPS) in UK aerospace manufacturing
Author: Abubakar, Sharbanom
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 4920
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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The UK aerospace industry is the largest in Europe. It faces strong competition from emerging countries and is challenged by rapid technological advancements, particularly in the era of Industry 4.0. Based on this context, this research explores the extent of Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) technologies adoption among UK aerospace manufacturers. This research also investigates the impact of the adoption on operational performance, given that the UK aerospace manufacturers are organised in the industry according to their capabilities. This research explores the relationship between CPS technologies adoption and a firm's operational performance. In exploring the extent of the relationship, this research also investigates the effects of different levels of firm capabilities on the relationship between CPS technologies adoption and operational performance. Through a review of literature in strategic and operations management domains, this research developed a theoretical model. The theoretical model represents two core hypotheses. Firstly, there is a direct and positive relationship between the adoption of CPS technologies and operational performance. Secondly, both operational capabilities and advanced manufacturing capabilities are combined to moderate the relationship between CPS adoption and a firm's operational performance. The impact of CPS adoption on operational performance is operationalised using known measures from operations management literature namely cost, quality, delivery, and flexibility. Data was collected through a survey of 161 UK aerospace manufacturers. Results of the survey were explored through various statistical approach including exploratory factor analysis and hierarchical regression analysis. The findings revealed that of the four categories of CPS technologies identified in this study, only Automation CPS has a direct and positive relationship with operational performance. Three other categories of CPS technologies namely, Infrastructure, Design, and Information Management do not have direct and positive relationships with operational performance. This research also found that firm capabilities influence the relationships between Infrastructure, Design, and Information Management CPS technologies adoption with operational performance respectively. When firms have low levels of capabilities, increasing the adoption of Information Management CPS technologies will improve operational performance significantly. When firms have high levels of capabilities, increasing the adoption of Infrastructure, Design, and Information Management CPS will only help firms improve operational performance marginally. This study also identified two additional theoretical contributions. Firstly, advanced manufacturing technologies (AMT) have evolved into CPS, which now represents the convergence of the physical and virtual systems with connectivity, which is at the centre of Industry 4.0. Secondly, when ordinary capabilities are combined with dynamic capabilities, they produce a direct and positive impact on operational performance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TL Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics