Transitioning technology from R&D to production
Author(s)Pulitzer, Seward Webb, 1974-
Transforming technology from research and development to production
Leaders for Manufacturing Program.
Duane Boning and Roy E. Welsch.
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Corporate research and development (R&D) drives progress in the high-tech industries. Companies that advance the state-of-the-art in product performance enjoy significant advantages over the competition. However, although technical achievement may be required for competitiveness, it is far from sufficient. The successful creation of a prototype is in no way an indication that large quantities of identical units can be economically or reliably produced. Indeed, transitioning a new technology from the laboratory in which it was created to a production environment can be as challenging as the actual development. Many of the obstacles on the path to production stem from process variability. The randomness inherent in every manufacturing operation introduces risk into the transition process. As products increasingly become more technologically complex, the need for close coupling between R&D and production groups also grows. However, current trends toward distributed development and outsourced manufacturing work to segregate these groups, increasing the chances that risk factors will be overlooked. This thesis examines the process by which new technologies are transitioned from the laboratory to the shop floor, and addresses some of the risks related to process uncertainty that arise. In particular, it focuses on those challenges that are difficult to recognize. Research for the project was conducted during a six month internship at the Raytheon Company. The transition-to-production process was segmented into three phases, and three related products were used as cases with which each phase could be studied. The problems that appeared in these cases were addressed, and the "lessons learned" were then generalized into a set of guidelines applicable to a broader range of situations.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; and, (M.B.A.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management; in conjunction with the Leaders for Manufacturing Program at MIT, 2008.Includes bibliographical references (p. 119-120).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.; Sloan School of Management.; Leaders for Manufacturing Program.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science., Sloan School of Management., Leaders for Manufacturing Program.