Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Guest editorial From: Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, Volume 19, Issue 6
About the Guest Editors
Dr Ian GibsonAssociate Professor in Mechanical Engineering at the National University of Singapore, where he has been for the last three years since leaving the University of Hong Kong. He is also Visiting Professor at the Centre for Rapid and Sustainable Product Development in Leiria, Portugal. His interests are mainly in Rapid Prototyping and Product Development. Currently his work is mainly focusing on the development of medical products, including tissue engineering. He is author of many texts in these areas (including two books published by John Wiley) and is the regional editor for the Rapid Prototyping Journal (also published by Emerald). In 2007, he chaired the International Conference on Manufacturing Automation (ICMA’07) from which the papers in this special issue were chosen.
Dr Wong Yoke SanProfessor in the Mechanical Engineering Department of the National University of Singapore. His research interests are in process characterisation for modelling, monitoring, control and optimisation, and product data capture for design and manufacture. In these areas he has published over 120 papers in refereed journals, made presentations at over 140 international conferences, and participated in several local and overseas funded projects. He has also served on various technical committees as well as local, regional, and international conference organisations. San has facilitated collaborations between National University of Singapore research and development institutions and local industry. He continues to be involved as a consultant to the local industry and has also taught specially organised courses to engineers in Singapore and neighbouring countries.
The International Conference on Manufacturing Automation (ICMA) is an occasional conference held in Asia. Started in 1992 at the University of Hong Kong, ICMA prides itself in providing a collegiate climate that brings together top academics and students in manufacturing from around the world. With around 120 delegates from more than 20 different countries, the fifth ICMA, ICMA’07, was hosted by members of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the National University of Singapore, maintaining the high standard that is expected of this conference. As members of the conference organising committee, we were delighted to see researchers from the USA and around ten different European nations mixing with delegates from Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Thailand, India, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Australia to form a truly international conference.
ICMA’07 did not have a printed version of the proceedings, electing to use the more common method these days of producing CDROM versions for delegates. Although copies are sent to libraries and for archiving, this is sure to affect citations from the conference proceedings, which is a shame when there are so many papers of high quality presented. To counteract this, we sought endorsement from suitable journals, who agreed to publish the best quality papers in their subject areas. The Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management has kindly devoted this issue to the best five papers on technology management from the ICMA. These papers have been extended, reviewed, and improved to meet the high quality demands of this journal. We hope you agree with us that these papers are of the highest standard and very interesting reading.
We have five papers from representatives of six different countries. The first paper was in fact a Keynote presentation from Professor D.T. Pham of Cardiff University in the UK, looking beyond Lean Manufacturing at ways to further improve quality and productivity. Stanev from Germany, along with colleagues from Germany and Greece, continues this forward looking approach by examining how production can be influenced by change management. Nyffenegger and Bacs from Switzerland address the common research theme at the moment of collaborative engineering by looking at different technologies currently available to assist this. Here we see a move from systems thinking to product-centric thinking, which continues with the work of Huang et al. in Singapore, who are looking at constraint-based product configuration knowledge, and Yim and Rosen who are based in the USA and looking at a design for manufacturing problem repository.
These papers are very representative of the subject matter, diversity and quality that is exemplified by the ICMA. We would like to thank the Editor of Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, David Bennett, for his support of this conference and hope that you look out for the next ICMA, when we decide to run it.
Ian Gibson, Wong Yoke SanGuest Editors