Support for successful production system development
The right production system can enable manufacturing companies to make products that are cheaper, better, and made faster than those of their competitors. However, the consequences of having the wrong production system, or even a good production system poorly implemented, can be disastrous.
The development process through which practitioners create the production system can have significant impact on the capabilities and performance of the system, and is thus of strategic importance to manufacturing companies.
It is a well-known fact that it is in the early phases of production system development that the most important decisions are made. If the production system is not developed in a proper way, this will eventually lead to disturbances and problems during serial production. The process of developing production systems has unfortunately received limited attention and consequently practitioners are often left alone with this complex and uncertain task.
In this handbook, research findings are collected into support for the development of the production system that can easily be applied to current practices. It is relevant to project managers and production engineers responsible for the development of the production system, and it is also useful to anyone who will affect or is affected by the development of the production system.
A structured approach to production system development supports the coordination of the work and ensures that crucial activities are performed on time. Overlooking relevant activities increases the likelihood that inefficient system solutions will be proposed, and makes reviewing the impact of key decisions taken more difficult.
The proposed process is based on a structured work procedure following the well-established stage-gate process. The stage-gate process is divided into six subsequent phases where each phase is described in detail, including objective, content, competencies involved, activities, and deliverables. In addition, common challenges in production system development are described as well as tactics to overcome these challenges.