-Lean Information Management In Traditional manufacturing industries

LIMIT is a project within the eTranet

Due to increasing product development outsourcing, companies are forming networks to provide product development, design and manufacturing services. When a product is developed in a company network, engineering changes (EC) cause typically a lot of communication between the companies. Main business problems are slow engineering change management review loops on a network level leading to slow and uncontrollable product development and design projects. Better understanding of ECs may lead to a significant positive effect upon product design effectiveness by lowering the risk of exceeding project schedule. In order to keep product development and design functions in Europe, we need to be able to perform better than our competitors elsewhere, especially in Japan and China.

The project aims to study engineering change management in a collaborative product design and development environments to improve the EC process. Principles of Lean Product Development will be applied to EC management and PDM processes and tools to make information exchange more efficient during EC loops. In addition, human aspects will be addressed in this area. The work will be performed as collaborative work between the members of the project. The following results are expected from the project:

  • State-of-the-art: A report outlines the current state-of-art of EC management in collaborative product development and design in Europe

  • Theory: A set of concepts and methods to facilitate EC management in a collaborative environment

  • Construction of a solution: A working prototype demonstrator for collaborative environment improving EC management in manufacturing industry, an analysis tool for determine the maturity of a company network performing product development.

  • Validation of the results: An evaluation with pilot-companies and recommendations for implementation in industrial companies

  • Dissemination: Two workshops together with reports, published journal papers, a website.

The project started in April 2007 and it lasts until March 2009. The project is conducted in collaboration between Swedish Swerea IVF (Industrial Research and Development Corporation) and Finnish HUT (Helsinki University of Technology). The project is funded by Tekes (Finnish funding agency for technology and innovation), Vinnova (Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems) and the participating companies in Finland and in Sweden as an eTranet project.

Project manager is Katrine Jokinen at HUT: "firtsname"."lastname"

Contactperson at IVF in Sweden is Mikael Ström: "firtsname"."lastname"