Keywords: advanced manufacturing technology, AMT, product development, small companies, product design technology, computer-aided design, CAD, technology management, information technology, procurement information, parts libraries, planning efficiency, cycle times, small firms
Challenges in managing the convergence of information and product design technology in a small company
In a manufacturing environment, product development technologies have the potential to be a central tool in the organisation of administrative and manufacturing tasks. Such integration of technology and information presents a strategic avenue for creating efficiencies in the development of highly complex products. This paper examines the implementation of a sophisticated computer aided design (CAD) package in a small company. The strategic aim was to bring components into the CAD environment, supporting each component with procurement information. The intention was that this would lead to: reduced design cycle times through the development of parts libraries; improved efficiencies in planning; and reduced manufacturing cycle times. In a small commercial environment, such strategic development presents a challenging task.