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Article
Publication date: 30 June 2021

Torbjørn Hekneby, Jonas A. Ingvaldsen and Jos Benders

Companies create company-specific production systems (XPS) by tailoring generic concepts to fit their unique situation. However, little is known about how an XPS is…

Abstract

Purpose

Companies create company-specific production systems (XPS) by tailoring generic concepts to fit their unique situation. However, little is known about how an XPS is created. This paper aims to provide insights into the creation of an XPS.

Design/methodology/approach

A retrospective case study was conducted in a Norwegian multinational company over the period 1991–2006, using archival data and interviews.

Findings

The development of the XPS did not start with a master plan. Instead, dispersed existing initiatives were built upon, along with an external search for novel ideas. Widespread experimentation took place, only later to be combined into a coherent approach. Once established, the XPS was disseminated internally and further refined. The CEO orchestrated the experimentation by facilitating the adaptation and combination of different concepts and by allocating resources to institutionalize the XPS in the global network.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to study how an XPS is created. This study contributes with novel empirical insights, and it highlights the role of top management in facilitating experimentation and step-by-step organizational learning.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 July 2020

Christer Osterman and Anders Fundin

Many organizations report difficulties in integrating lean. A possible cause could be that methods and tools do not support each other. The purpose of this research is…

Abstract

Purpose

Many organizations report difficulties in integrating lean. A possible cause could be that methods and tools do not support each other. The purpose of this research is, therefore, to explore the nature of the connections within the system. Understanding these provides practitioners with a better way of defining their system and offers researchers a conceptual model with a new way of understanding a company-specific production system (XPS).

Design/methodology/approach

The study is designed as a multiple case study with three organizations and, in total, 25 lean experts serving as respondents.

Findings

The connections between the elements of an XPS act as a duality based on a problem–solution (P–S) relation. These are categorized according to complexity and can be mapped into a conceptual model, where the connections can be either symmetrical or asymmetrical.

Research limitations/implications

The results provide a method to analyze causes and effects in an XPS and a conceptual model. Given the limitations of a multiple case study, future research should explore connections depending on a broader variety of contextual conditions.

Practical implications

The results present a way to avoid a cherry-picking problem through understanding connections between elements in an XPS. This provides a new way to understand the weaknesses of an XPS.

Originality/value

The research provides a new approach with insights on how to conduct research in lean production by facilitating how to understand and interpret connections between elements in a system.

Details

The TQM Journal, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2731

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 August 2018

Lina Stålberg and Anders Fundin

The purpose of this paper is to understand how a continuous improvement (CI) approach like lean production (LP) integration is affected by dynamic conditions and to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand how a continuous improvement (CI) approach like lean production (LP) integration is affected by dynamic conditions and to propose how LP integration can be adaptable to dynamic conditions.

Design/methodology/approach

A longitudinal case study has been conducted in which data were collected through participative observations, observations, documents and an in-depth semi-structured interview.

Findings

The adaptability is related to the maturity level of the LP integration, where more mature organisations are better equipped to deal with the challenges occurring due to their learning and experimentation capabilities. The main problem is that the LP integration needs to be adapted, like compromising with just-in-time. This creates challenges to more immature organisations; they do not seem to be able to adapt the LP integration since the skills are lacking.

Research limitations/implications

The research limitations are associated with the research design and therefore might limit generalisation of the context studied.

Practical implications

The management needs to stay focused on the LP integration to continue building CI capability. There is a need to adapt the LP concept, which includes assessing how proposed changes and the LP concept interact in order to make them reinforce each other. This involves creating guidelines concerning adaptation and facilitating a transition from mainly single-loop learning to double-loop learning.

Originality/value

This paper contributes by describing challenges that have an impact on LP integration and related organisational adaptability under dynamic conditions.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 29 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 November 2013

Torbjørn H. Netland and Arild Aspelund

In order to improve competitiveness on a global scale, multinational enterprises increasingly develop a company-specific production system (XPS) and deploy it in their…

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Abstract

Purpose

In order to improve competitiveness on a global scale, multinational enterprises increasingly develop a company-specific production system (XPS) and deploy it in their worldwide operations. An XPS is synonymous with a tailored corporate-wide improvement programme. The purpose of this paper is to explore the circumstances under which an XPS can provide a competitive advantage.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses an explorative case study methodology to investigate the link between the establishment of an XPS and competitive advantage. Specifically, the paper investigates the part of the Volvo Group's globally implemented Volvo production system (VPS) that aim to improve the manufacturing processes worldwide. Due to its historical trajectories, Volvo constitutes a unique case for studying the trend and effects of XPS. The resource-based view of the firm provides the theoretical foundation for the analysis.

Findings

The paper concludes with four research propositions. P1: In industries with widespread XPS implementation, an XPS is a necessary resource for achieving competitive parity; P2a: Early-starters get an instant temporary competitive advantage; P2b: Late-starters can achieve a temporary competitive advantage if they implement an XPS at a faster speed than competitors; and P3: An XPS can provide a sustainable competitive advantage if it has a superior fit with other path-dependent resources in the organisation.

Research limitations/implications

The paper proposes an updated VRIO model, which is better suited for understanding the relations between an XPS and competitive advantage. The major limitation of the study is the single-case design, which complicates generalisation from the VPS to an XPS of the propositions set forward.

Originality/value

Despite the significant trend in modern operations management, XPSs have received remarkably limited attention from academia except for the Toyota Production System. Presumably, this is the first paper to discuss the recent trend of XPS and its contribution to competitive advantage.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 33 no. 11/12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 2016

Lina Stålberg and Anders Fundin

The purpose of this paper is to examine how holistic improvement work can be organized and what challenges can be observed in the process of adopting a holistic…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how holistic improvement work can be organized and what challenges can be observed in the process of adopting a holistic perspective on production system improvement.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative case study and a questionnaire have been carried out. Data for the case study has been collected through semi-structured interviews, archived documents and participatory observations. The questionnaire was done in order to increase the generalizability of the findings from the case study and further validate the conclusions.

Findings

The improvement work at the case company is organized as a continuous improvement approach in a Lean Production system in the form of a company-specific production system (XPS), in which two other improvement approaches are incorporated. Some of the identified challenges are: the establishment of a holistic perspective on improvement opportunities; the development of a process to update the production strategy; the continuous update of the Operational Management System during the XPS implementation; aggregating measures for the improvement work and measuring the effect of improvement work.

Research limitations/implications

As the current case study is limited to one case company, future research is interested in expanding to other production systems contexts for further validation.

Originality/value

The present study offers an increased understanding of the integration difficulties of improvement work that many production companies face regarding operational effectiveness, and based on the findings, some implications for management are presented.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1991

A. Hirt and I. Artaki

For many years the analysis of contaminant residues on PWB surfaces has been of major importance to the industry. While the identification of residues left on metallic…

Abstract

For many years the analysis of contaminant residues on PWB surfaces has been of major importance to the industry. While the identification of residues left on metallic surfaces has proven to be relatively straightforward, the analysis of organic contamination of similar composition to that of the underlying board surface has not been as successful. Through the use of modern XPS instrumentation, the non‐ionic component of water soluble flux has been identified and differentiated from the chemically similar FR‐4 and soldermask substrates. This paper presents the XPS results for a series of experiments aimed at determining the location and relative concentration of water soluble flux residues on standard surface insulation resistance (SIR) comb patterns. The data show that the water soluble flux residue is not present as a uniform coating on the board surface but appears in localised sites in high concentrations while being absent in other locations. Through more aggressive cleaning procedures the sites of high residue concentration can be significantly reduced.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

Article
Publication date: 1 January 2008

Govind Umarji, Supriya Ketkar, Ranjit Hawaldar, Suresh Gosavi, Kashinath Patil, Uttam Mulik and Dinesh Amalnerkar

The purpose of this paper is to ascertain chemical changes occurring at various stages involved in processing of silver‐based photoimageable thick films; and to determine…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to ascertain chemical changes occurring at various stages involved in processing of silver‐based photoimageable thick films; and to determine ensuing topographical features which other wise appeared to be hindered in 2D scanning electron microscopy.

Design/methodology/approach

Surface sensitive techniques, viz. X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) were used.

Findings

Interfacial adhesion of silver film with substrate (Al2O3) was specifically looked into with respect to role played by photoimaging (before and after exposure to ultra‐violet light). XPS results revealed occurrence of subtle chemical changes in terms of unsaturation to saturation in C−C bonding and also an interesting C−Al bonding which presumably improves mechanical adhesion of unfired film with the alumina substrate. AFM was carried out to examine the surface roughness, particle size, and microstructure of film which are very important from the standpoint of high‐frequency applications.

Originality/value

Surface sensitive techniques like XPS and AFM were exclusively used in order to characterize silver‐based photoimageable thick films.

Details

Microelectronics International, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-5362

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2005

Z.H. Gao, J.Y. Gu, X‐M. Wang, Z.G. Li and X.D. Bai

To evaluate the competing reaction of isocyanate with cellulose and water which can provide direction for further studies on bonding and curing reactions of isocyanate with wood.

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Abstract

Purpose

To evaluate the competing reaction of isocyanate with cellulose and water which can provide direction for further studies on bonding and curing reactions of isocyanate with wood.

Design/methodology/approach

Two modern analytical techniques, Fourier transform infra‐red (FTIR) and X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), were used. The FTIR was used to identify the products of the reaction of phenyl isocyanate (PI) with alcohol, water, and cellulose; while the XPS was used to evaluate the proportions of isocyanate that reacted with water or cellulose when PI reacted with cellulose at different moisture contents (MCs), respectively.

Findings

Methods for the IR identifications of reaction results of PI with n‐propanol, water, and cellulose, in which the reactions of PI with water and PI with cellulose resulted in N,N′‐diphenylurea and carbamate, respectively, were developed. It was discovered that the extent of reaction of isocyanate and cellulose decreased with increasing cellulose MC, and 92.98 per cent isocyanate reacted with water when 9.78 per cent MC was reached. It was confirmed that the products of the PI reaction were distributed mainly on the surface of the cellulose particles.

Research limitations/implications

The study only focused on the reaction of PI. However, the industrial isocyanates, e.g. methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), polymerized methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (p‐MDI) that have complexities in chemical structures and components, make analyses with FTIR and XPS impossible.

Practical implications

The paper provides some instructive information about the isocyanate reaction that will help understanding the characteristics of isocyanate and guiding the design of technology bonding isocyanate to fibre, wood, etc.

Originality/value

The application of FTIR and XPS for evaluating the reaction of isocyanate with cellulose having different MCs was novel and may be used as a reference for other relevant studies.

Details

Pigment & Resin Technology, vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0369-9420

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 May 2009

Thomas Hetschel, Klaus‐Jürgen Wolter and Fritz Phillipp

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the oxidation behaviour of an immersion tin final finish after multiple reflow ageing under air and nitrogen atmospheres and to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the oxidation behaviour of an immersion tin final finish after multiple reflow ageing under air and nitrogen atmospheres and to study their influence on the wetting behaviour with lead‐free solder. To design a model that describes the degradation of wetting behaviour after reflow‐cycling of the immersion tin final finish.

Design/methodology/approach

A special printed circuit boards (PCB) demonstrator was created to investigate the immersion tin final finish with surface analysis methods and wetting tests. The PCB samples were aged by multiple reflow‐cycling under air and nitrogen atmospheres. The tin oxide formation behaviour of immersion tin was characterised using X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), transmission electron microscope (TEM) and SERA analysis.

Findings

The native oxide layer of the investigated immersion tin final finishes was approximately 7 nm on average. The TEM and XPS investigations indicated an amorphous structure of SnO and SnO2. The solder spread test showed significantly different results for PCBs in “as received” condition compared to those after one and two times reflow ageing under a nitrogen solder atmosphere. The analysis methods revealed a slight increase in the tin oxide layer thickness and small areas with semi‐crystalline structure. Reflow ageing under an ambient solder atmosphere induced considerably thicker oxide layers, which could be observed by a yellow discoloration of the surface.

Research limitations/implications

Measures to improve the wetting behaviour can be derived from the described model (i.e. use of higher tin layer thickness or protective films to reduce the tin oxidation).

Originality/value

A functional model for the solderability process of lead‐free solder on immersion tin PCB final finishes was derived and verified. By this, interactions between the state of the final finish and the solder can be described and potential solderability failures can be predicted.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 35 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 March 2014

Torbjørn H. Netland and Ebly Sanchez

How can multinational companies become more productive on a global scale? The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether a production improvement programme can…

1958

Abstract

Purpose

How can multinational companies become more productive on a global scale? The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether a production improvement programme can improve quality performance in a global network of factories. Specifically, the paper analyses the effects of the Volvo Group's production improvement programme on global quality performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The research approach is a case study of the Volvo Production System (VPS). The paper analyses the effects of the programme on global quality performance, using data from an implementation audit and a questionnaire survey. The paper triangulate the analysis with longitudinal quality performance data from three different plants.

Findings

The paper finds a significant and strong positive relationship between implementation of the VPS and improvements in both process quality and product quality. Hence, the paper suggests that tailored production improvement programmes have clear positive effects on global quality performance.

Research limitations/implications

As with all case studies, the paper should use caution when generalising beyond the specific case. However, the Volvo Group is a broad and diversified corporation, which mitigates this limitation.

Originality/value

While many studies have investigated the effect of production improvement programmes on performance, very few have looked at the effect of a corporate multi-plant programme. This study represents one of the first attempts to do so. The paper also provides a case description of the VPS that readers might find valuable in its own right.

1 – 10 of 484