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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1991

Robert O. Knorr and Edward F. Thiede

New technologies have yielded astounding increases in quality, productivity, and customer satisfaction. Companies in manufacturing, service, and information industries…

Abstract

New technologies have yielded astounding increases in quality, productivity, and customer satisfaction. Companies in manufacturing, service, and information industries have all been reaping the benefits of improvements in these areas. In particular, corporate America is emerging from its initial experience with the following new technologies:

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1960

Memories of Christmas, inevitable overeating and the discomfort of satiation have sufficiently receded to be able to discuss briefly that occasional concomitant of food…

Abstract

Memories of Christmas, inevitable overeating and the discomfort of satiation have sufficiently receded to be able to discuss briefly that occasional concomitant of food, mentioned discreetly, usually behind hand to mouth and then only to close intimates—indigestion! It may accompany only certain foods, or if one has attained its crown of martyrdom, most foods, but before coming to our purpose in mentioning the subject at all, we would sound a few words of caution against blindly accepting all statistical evaluations which appear to confirm logically unacceptable viewpoints, which bestow success to improbabilities and simplicity to imponderables and unaccountably obtain superior results from placebo treatment, or in other words, confirm the therapeutic value of doing nothing! There are probably fallacies in these statistical efforts, but the ordinary down‐to‐earth individual cannot detect them. Perhaps it needs on the setting‐a‐thief‐to‐catch‐a‐thief principle, another statistician to find them.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 62 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2019

Jose Orlando Montes and F. Xavier Olleros

The purpose of this paper is to explore the microfactory model, the elements that enable it and its implications. The authors argue that microfactories reduce the risks…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the microfactory model, the elements that enable it and its implications. The authors argue that microfactories reduce the risks and costs of innovation and that they can move various industries toward more local, adaptive and sustainable business ecosystems.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper explores several processes and practices that are relatively new; hence, it uses online secondary sources (e.g. interviews with CEOs, videos, blogs and trade magazine articles) extensively.

Findings

Given its versatility and high automation levels, the microfactory model can fill the gap between artisanal and mass production processes, boost the rate of innovation, and enable the local on-demand fabrication of customized products.

Practical implications

Currently, manufacturers generally need to make large investments when launching a new product, despite high uncertainty about customer acceptance, thus risking considerable losses. The microfactory model offers a safer alternative by allowing a firm to develop and fabricate new products and test their acceptance in a local market before mass producing them. Microfactories also enable the local on-demand fabrication of highly customized products.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the discussion on the economic advantages and disadvantages of scale and scope, which have been insufficiently explored in the digital domain.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 September 2020

K. Sumitha P.N. Kannan and Alaa Garad

This study investigates the competencies required for quality management professionals to meet the needs of industry 4.0. The authors use a case study strategy at an…

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigates the competencies required for quality management professionals to meet the needs of industry 4.0. The authors use a case study strategy at an electronics manufacturer in southern Malaysia, to adapt their role to be relevant in the industry 4.0 environment. In doing so, this study answers the following four questions: (1) How are the changing technological trends expected to impact the future role of quality in industry 4.0? (2) What are the competencies gap between current and future roles of quality professionals? (3) What are the views and practices related to quality roles? (4) How can the gaps identified be closed to meet the quality challenges of industry 4.0?

Design/methodology/approach

The research methods consist of a comprehensive review of literature on the technological trends towards industry 4.0 and the impact on the role of quality and competence that may be required in the future, as well as internal document review on the current roles of quality professionals in an electronics manufacturer in southern Malaysia, to identify the competence gap. Empirical data was collected based on surveys conducted on 64 quality professionals with a response rate of 96.88%. Interviews were conducted on three decision-makers from critical areas in the electronics manufacturer for viewpoints from three different perspectives: finance, operations and talent development.

Findings

Quality professionals will require technical competencies to interpret large amounts of data from processes to make strategic decisions, the use of new AR tools and be aware of data security risks. Methodological competencies will be required to use data to identify the source of problems, to access reliable sources of learning and the ability to use new tools for solving complex problems efficiently. Social competencies will be required in communications across multi-sites, suppliers and customers in new collaborative virtual platforms, with the ability to retain tacit and explicit knowledge, in a decentralized environment that will require leadership ability to make decisions. Personal competencies required will be the ability to work in a flexible workplace and time and more frequent work-related changes.

Research limitations/implications

The limitation of the study is based on what the authors currently know of the future, which may not be much for the quality professionals in the electronics manufacturer, who have not been exposed much to the technology yet. The potential for the future landscape to change dramatically with rapid technology changes may also result in a different set of skills for future quality professionals. The quality professionals who were involved in this study were the quality executives, engineers and managers, irrespective of their gender, age, length of service and experience in the field of quality. Therefore, these variables were not taken into consideration for this research.

Practical implications

This research helped to identify the role of quality in industry 4.0 and key competencies that the quality professionals in the electronics manufacturer will require to adapt to their role in industry 4.0. However, based on the questionnaire and the interview comments of key personnel, it can be concluded that quality professionals lack awareness of their new roles in industry 4.0. This could be due to the fact that the new technology is not implemented by quality professionals but by the innovation team based in Singapore headquarters, as was also advised by the operations head.

Social implications

The benefit of industry 4.0 technology is clearly shown by Philips's new Dutch factory with robotized technology that was able to produce the same output with one-tenth of the workers of its China factory (Rifkin, 2014, chapter 8). Rojko (2017, p. 80) also shared a similar view that industry 4.0 is expected to reduce production costs by 10–30%, logistics costs by 10–30% and quality management costs by 10–20%. The importance of this research can be seen from the findings of “The Future of Jobs” (2018, p. 22), which suggests that the window of opportunity for organizations to leverage the new technology to re-skill is within the period of 2018–2022, in order to enable employees to reach full potential in the high value-added tasks. The electronics manufacturer may need to keep to this timeline to maintain its competitive advantage.

Originality/value

The purpose of this paper was to determine the competence gap of current quality professionals in the electronics manufacturer with the competencies required in industry 4.0. This led to the third objective, to identify the views of stakeholders based on the propositions derived from the gaps identified, to triangulate the findings, to conclude the competency gaps of the current quality professionals in the electronics manufacturer. Finally, the objective of this paper was to make a recommendation on how to prepare the quality professionals in the electronics manufacturer for their role in industry 4.0. The research identified the technical, methodological, social and personal competencies gap of the quality professionals in the electronics manufacturer by looking at the changes expected in industry 4.0 from four aspects, factory (people and process), business, product and customers.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 38 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 March 2020

Guilherme Tortorella, Rapinder Sawhney, Daniel Jurburg, Istefani Carisio de Paula, Diego Tlapa and Matthias Thurer

The objective of this research is twofold. First, we aim at identifying the pairwise relationships between Lean Production (LP) practices and Industry 4.0 (I4.0…

Abstract

Purpose

The objective of this research is twofold. First, we aim at identifying the pairwise relationships between Lean Production (LP) practices and Industry 4.0 (I4.0) technologies. Second, based on these results, we propose a framework for Lean Automation (LA) implementation, in which I4.0 technologies are integrated into LP practices.

Design/methodology/approach

To achieve that, a cross-sector survey was performed with 147 manufacturers that are undergoing a LP implementation aided by novel information and communication technologies from I4.0. Multivariate data analysis was applied in order to underpin the proposed framework for LA.

Findings

Findings indicate that I4.0 technologies are positively correlated with LP practices, providing evidence to bear the proposition of a LA framework that can potentially overcome traditional barriers and challenges of a LP implementation.

Originality/value

As previous studies have approached LA implementation from a narrow perspective or including a limited set of LP practices and I4.0 technologies, the proposition of an integrated framework unfolds a wider range of synergistic implementations that may corroborate to a holistic approach for continuous improvement in the Fourth Industrial Revolution era.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

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