Categories
Productivity Resources

Process Oriented Holonic (PrOH) Modelling Methodology

Overview
A short video explaining the benefits of, and reasoning behind, the development of the PrOH Modelling methodology

PrOH Modelling is a type of soft systems methodology that is used to enquire into and improve complex systemic organizational process problems. As a soft systems methodology PrOH Modelling emphasizes understanding, definition, consensus building and action taking to solve problems. It is particularly useful in processes that are dependent on lots of human activity and decision making, have a high degree of subjectivity and have numerous different stakeholders with diverse backgrounds and opinions. PrOH Modelling is best used in an action research or intervention based context where a researcher is an active participant in organizational strategy and operations and is able to maintain an independent and objective perspective.

The PrOH Modelling approach has been successfully applied in numerous manufacturing contexts including:

  • Improving leanness and productivity in automotive manufacturing
  • The challenges of digitalizing an aerospace supply chain
  • Upscaling supply chains for the manufacture of electric vehicles

The prohmodeller.org website exists for the community of PrOH Modellers. This includes those who wish to use it for academic research projects such as masters dissertation or doctoral theses, those who wish to use it for change projects in their own organizations, or in a consulting capacity in other organizations. We also welcome users to develop the method and share new case study examples with the community.

This research was conducted by Professor Ben Clegg and Dr. Krishna Balthu (Aston University). This work was supported by the UKRI Made Smarter Innovation Challenge and the Economic and Social Research Council via InterAct [Grant Reference ES/W007231/1].

For further discussions or to propose potential applications/collaborations, please contact Ben Clegg.

Categories
Productivity Resilience Resources

Industrial digital technologies for UK SME exporting manufacturers

Overview

This research project examines the drivers, barriers, and performance outcomes of adopting industrial digital technologies (IDTs) in UK manufacturing firms. The findings outlined in the report and toolkit provide insights on the interventions that facilitate IDT adoption to enhance the performance of SME manufacturers exporting to international markets.

The project collected primary data from focus groups, interviews and a survey of 303 UK manufacturing SMEs currently exporting products. The outcomes from this primary research were used to develop an IDT adoption toolkit and decision-making model. This toolkit allows UK SME manufacturers to benchmark their level of IDT adoption against the industry standard, to identify which specific IDTs will have the greatest impact on improving their business performance across many indicators, and additionally can direct users to the digital solutions most relevant to their needs, thereby simplifying the process of IDT adoption.

Dr Hanh Pham, Dr Richard Hodgett and Prof Chee Yew Wong (University of Leeds). This work was supported by the UKRI Made Smarter Innovation Challenge and the Economic and Social Research Council via InterAct [Grant Reference ES/W007231/1].

For further discussions or to propose potential applications/collaborations, please contact Hanh Pham.

Categories
People Resources

Digital Change Toolkit

Overview

The Digital Change Toolkit is a freely available online resource which can help organisations to prepare, design, and evaluate the people and organisational aspects of digital change. It consists of three core components:

  • A six-stage change process with comprehensive guidelines for each stage
  • The CResDA Tool (a questionnaire for assessing and evaluating employee attitudes)
  • The Socio-Technical Scenarios Tool (a workshop based tool for assessing the current situation, designing future visions and developing action plans).

The Digital Change Toolkit offers:

  • Reliability: The Toolkit is grounded in research and established best practice guidelines, to provide credibility and effectiveness in supporting digital change.
  • Integration Flexibility: The Toolkit can be used on its own or in conjunction with other tools that focus on the design and implementation of new technologies or business models as part of digital change.
  • Versatile Application: The Toolkit is suitable for different change projects (both large and small) that involve technology or digital tools.
  • Scalability: The Toolkit can be used within a single organisation, across organisations, or across supply chains and is flexible and adaptable to suit the needs of the organisational context in which it is used.

The Digital Change Toolkit provides comprehensive guidelines to follow at all six-stages of a digital change process.

This research was conducted by Professor Carolyn Axtell, Dr. Vladislav Grozev, and Dr. Hui Zhang (University of Sheffield). This work was supported by the UKRI Made Smarter Innovation Challenge and the Economic and Social Research Council via InterAct [Grant Reference ES/W007231/1].

For further discussions or to propose potential applications/collaborations, please contact Vladislav Grozev.

Categories
Productivity Resilience Resources

Verification, validation and testing (VVT) for new products and technology

The development of new digital technology needs extensive verification, validation and testing (VVT). Implementing an effective way of analysing the requirements of different stakeholders, i.e., the customer’s voice, regulations and business’s voice and how these requirements must be considered often poses a significant challenge.

This project has developed a systematic method of analysing critical requirements and influences on VVT activity for new technology development and manufacturing. This offers support for the adoption of digital technologies and facilitates collaboration between SMEs and larger companies. The free to use online tool gives you the ability to visually analyse the transition of requirements from risk analysis to prioritisation and the impact of these choices.

This research was conducted by Dr. Khadija Tahera (The Open University). This work was supported by the UKRI Made Smarter Innovation Challenge and the Economic and Social Research Council via InterAct [Grant Reference ES/W007231/1].

For further discussions or potential applications/collaborations, please contact Khadija Tahera.

Categories
People Productivity Resources

Fast scheduling of human-robot teams collaboration on synchronised production-logistics tasks in aircraft assembly

Overview

The increasing deployment of mobile robots and collaborative robots is changing the manufacturing landscape with emerging technologies in Industry 4.0.

The deployment of human-robot teams (HRTs) promises to realise the potential of each team member regarding their distinct abilities and combines efficiency and flexibility in manufacturing operations. However, enabling effective coordination amongst collaborative tasks performed by humans and robots while ensuring safety and satisfying specific constraints is challenging.

Motivated by real-world applications that Boeing and Airbus adopt HRTs in manufacturing operations, this paper investigates the allocating and coordinating of HRTs to support safe and efficient human-robot collaboration on synchronised production-logistics tasks in aircraft assembly.

This research was conducted by Dr. Daqiang Guo (IfM, University of Cambridge). This work was supported by the UKRI Made Smarter Innovation Challenge and the Economic and Social Research Council via InterAct’s Early Career Researcher Fund [Grant Reference ES/W007231/1].

For further discussions or potential applications/collaborations, please contact Daqiang Guo.

Categories
People Resilience Resources Sustainability

Manufacturing in the Metaverse

Overview

The future of manufacturing will be underpinned by two elements: digital technologies and collaboration. The industrial metaverse is the epitome of these elements, using extended reality to blend the physical and digital worlds to transform how businesses design, manufacture, and interact with objects.

This report presents a coherent summary of established knowledge from academia and practice on the drivers, risks, enablers, and barriers of the industrial metaverse for manufacturing through a systematic literature review. These aspects are explored at three levels of granularity: the individual, the firm, and the manufacturing ecosystem.

As a result of this work, the InterAct funded team has also conceptualised a prototype for an industrial metaverse implementation using a case of cocoa manufacturing.

This research was conducted by Dr. Nikolai Kazantsev, Dr. Bethan Moncur, Russell Goh, Professor Chander Velu (IfM, University of Cambridge). This work was supported by the UKRI Made Smarter Innovation Challenge and the Economic and Social Research Council via InterAct [Grant Reference ES/W007231/1].

For further discussions or to propose potential applications/collaborations, please contact Nikolai Kazantsev.

Categories
Resilience Resources Sustainability

Aligning economic policy for automotive sector resilience in the face of critical material dependency challenges

Overview

The automotive sector holds a distinctive and pivotal position within the UK economy. Beyond its substantial contributions to national outputs, employment, and value addition, the sector embodies a catalyst for future growth, aligning with the levelling up agenda and propelling the Net Zero transition.

In 2022, automotive-related manufacturing injected £78 billion turnover and contributed £16 billion in value added to the UK economy. The sector’s impact extends to the employment of over 208,000 individuals directly in automotive manufacturing and a total of 800,000 across the broader sector. Noteworthy within this context is the diversity epitomized by more than 25 manufacturing brands, collectively producing over 70 distinct vehicle models, complemented by the presence of specialized small-volume manufacturers.

This intricate ecosystem is further supported by approximately 2,500 supply chain businesses, housing some of the world’s most skilled engineers.

This paper offers a comprehensive analysis of the UK’s electric vehicle (EV) industry within the framework of economic policy and global value chains. It delves into the intricate dynamics involving supply chains, industrial policy, and critical dependencies.

The UK’s automotive sector confronts multifaceted challenges stemming from technological advancements, socioeconomic transformations, and geopolitical intricacies, necessitating the formulation of agile and responsive economic policies. The UK’s departure from the EU, as stipulated in the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, amplifies the complexities, particularly in navigating non-tariff measures and rules of origin that exert influence on EV exports. Within a landscape marked by heightened global competition characterized by escalating industrial policies on a global scale, the urgency of nimble responses becomes evident.

This research was conducted by Professor Jun Du Professor, Reader Luciano Battista and Dr. Oleksandr Shepotylo (Aston Business School). This work was supported by the UKRI Made Smarter Innovation Challenge and the Economic and Social Research Council via InterAct [Grant Reference ES/W007231/1].

For further discussions or potential applications/collaborations, please contact Jun Du.

Categories
People Resources

Perceptions of Manufacturing: How to make manufacturing charming again?

Overview

Watch a short explainer video about the importance of sector perception to the future of manufacturing

This report presents insights into how manufacturing is perceived, the factors shaping this perception, and how this perception has evolved in the last decade. The findings draw upon a systematic review of academic, grey and policy literature across seven countries: the United Kingdom (the UK), Canada, Germany, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland and the United States (the US).

The report is the main output of the InterAct-funded project “How to make manufacturing charming again? It is everything, everywhere, all at once”. The aim of the report is to support InterAct research on the future of manufacturing on an international scale by providing insights into attitudes to manufacturing and industrial strategies, and how manufacturing is discussed in other countries, particularly where digital technologies have been adopted.

This research was conducted by Dr. Guendalina Anzolin (IfM, University of Cambridge), Dr. Jennifer Castañeda–Navarrete (IfM, University of Cambridge) and Dr. Dalila Ribaudo (Aston University). This work was supported by the UKRI Made Smarter Innovation Challenge and the Economic and Social Research Council via InterAct [Grant Reference ES/W007231/1].

For further discussions or potential collaborations, please contact Jennifer Castañeda–Navarrete or Dalila Ribaudo.

Watch project researchers Guendalina Anzolin and Jennifer Castañeda–Navarrete discuss their findings in this webinar hosted by IfM Cambridge
Categories
Productivity Resources Sustainability

CarbonVue

Overview

CarbonVue is an innovative digital tool that enables businesses to increase efficiency whilst reducing costs and CO2 emissions from their supply chains. Using CarbonVue, companies can highlight key points in the configuration of their supply chains to target with improvements to help produce a greener tomorrow.

Categories
Productivity Resilience Resources

From supply chains towards manufacturing ecosystems: A system dynamics model

Overview

Rapid market changes call for demand-driven collaborations in manufacturing, which trigger supply chain evolution to more distributed supply structures.

This paper explores the system dynamics of the largest European aerospace manufacturer’s supply chain. The authors conceptualise a manufacturing ecosystem by observing the impacts of supplier development, digital platforms, smart contracting, and Industry 4.0 on demand-driven collaborations in time.

The research team offers further contributions to the literature on ecosystem strategy, particularly for regulated industries, by disclosing the role of demand-driven collaborations in supporting the ecosystems’ growth. This paper also provides manufacturing firms with an open-access tool to exemplify their ecosystem development and produce initial training datasets for AI/ML algorithms, supporting further analytics.

This research was conducted by Dr. Nikolai Kazantsev (IfM, University of Cambridge), Oleksii Petrovskyi (National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy), Professor Julian M. Müller (Seeburg Castle University, Austria and Erfurt University of Applied Sciences, Germany). This work was supported by the UKRI Made Smarter Innovation Challenge and the Economic and Social Research Council via InterAct [Grant Reference ES/W007231/1].

For further discussions or potential applications/collaborations, please contact Nikolai Kazantsev.

https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2023.122917