A model for the assessment of new technology for the manufacturing enterprise
Modern technology plays a key role in the ability of manufacturing enterprises to compete as world class manufacturers. Managers need to make complex decisions regarding applicable technologies in order to gain optimal return on technological investment. A model was developed to assess the impact of manufacturing technology on the productivity and competitiveness of the enterprise. The approach taken by the model is to view the manufacturing enterprise as a manufacturing system in which different dynamic process structures exist. A framework is defined by the hierarchical structure of the enterprise, the business processes and the fundamental business functions. This creates a 3-dimensional space in which the business processes can be mapped. From the relationship between technology and process, the impact of new technology on the enterprise can be projected onto the 3-dimensional framework. Proven world class manufacturing methodologies can be assessed by the model. These typically include automated manufacturing, production management and concurrent engineering systems. Ultimately, the model can be a useful tool for developing or evaluating technology strategies for the enterprise.