In order to increase the productivity, mobile robots are actually used to perform several tasks in factories. Nowadays factories tend also to use multi-robots systems. One challenge for mobile robot is the path planning. Different algorithms, like potential field, are proposed in the literature for this issue. In this paper we propose an extension of the potential field algorithm mostly used for single robot system to be used in multi-robots systems. The paper proposed some simulation results that show the efficiency and the limits of the proposal.
It has been confirmed that organizational culture has a remarkable impact on facilitating continuous improvement. Nonetheless, little empirical research has investigated how organizational culture can facilitate continuous improvement. Therefore, this paper asks what interventions facilitate a continuous improvement culture within nonprofit organizations. Qualitative data are suggested as an appropriate method for answering the research question. The present research adopted an interpretive paradigm whereby reality, treated as a subjective and multiple entity that is “socially constructed”, can be mentally explored from the participants' perspectives. Grounded theory was the chosen approach for collecting and analysing the qualitative data; thus, the constructed theories were ‘grounded’ in the data themselves. Thirty one interviews in fifteen nonprofit organizations yielded data which, when analysed revealed a number of interventions, developed by the participants during five focus group discussions.
The way researchers share and discuss their work has fundamentally changed since the introduction of social media tools. One area that has received extensive attention is that of real-time technologies for collaboration and communication. Researchers can utilize tools such as Google Docs, Skype and Dropbox to facilitate the exchange of information, the creation of new knowledge and the distribution of research findings in real time. Social media tools are increasingly implemented in research work environments as tools to share knowledge among researchers. As these technologies begin to take hold across universities, it is important that we develop an understanding of how they enable and shape the communication activities through which research work is accomplished. This paper provides a definition of social media for knowledge sharing along with a classification of tools through which this medium is being exploited by the research community. This paper also reviews the area of enterprise social media to establish the state of the art and to propose directions for future research. This study poses three research questions: Which social media tools are popular among engineering and technology researchers?; What are the main factors that affect knowledge sharing in research based on social media tools?; Can a framework be developed to enhance the suitability of social media tools for research?
Latest hardware and software development in computer science and software engineering have promoted Augmented Reality (AR) prototypes for a number of architecture and design applications. Recent development in digital fabrication tools and techniques added more inspiration and support to implement AR technology in design and construction in order to solve complex issues even though more practical platforms are still required for effective digital information usage in such industries. Due to capability of this visualization platform, this study presents the concept and supplementary supporting technologies of AR to demonstrate the feasibility in architectural education and studio learning. Besides, this paper also discusses how the recognized technology could sensibly be addressed in architectural environment.
For manufacturers to remain competitive, there is a recognised need to be highly innovative in the creation of new products and enhancements to existing ranges. Since its conception in 2003, Open Innovation (OI) has developed into a prominent research theme within innovation-related literature and is seen to impact positively on company performance. Many large manufacturers are now adapting their innovation processes to adopt OI and seek valuable expertise from external sources, including customers, suppliers and even competitors. This study explores the OI practices of three multinational manufacturers operating in three distinct sectors: aerospace, electronics and beverages. Findings suggest that by adopting the OI model, companies can remain competitive through co-creation and greater engagement with stakeholders. However, companies must explore and identify best practices for inbound and outbound co-creation.
This paper will describe and develop a method of exploring situated knowledge within Manufacturing organisations, with employees from a four-tier supply chain utilising a form of Group Consensus Theory (GCT). The approach attempts to identify the attitudes of companies to the development human competencies and, will identify the challenges to improving Organisational Learning in companies through identifying the emotions and politics of leadership and learning in order to articulate how situated knowledge is ignored, as well as utilised. Direct feedback from industrialists will inform the analysis of how and in what way UK manufacturers can meet these challenges. The method developed is practical, and may be used by organisations for themselves to aid the development of group as well as individual reflection, to stimulate the consideration of change.
This paper considers the obstacles that face manufacturing companies in Libya to implement Lean manufacturing systems. Lean manufacturing has been developed to eliminate manufacturing wastes and thus improve operational efficiency in many manufacturing processes and industries. This paper aims to evaluate the significance of the barriers to implementing Lean manufacturing in the Libyan environment. In this study a mixed method approach is used, starting with a questionnaire as a quantitative method and followed by conducting interviews to obtain qualitative data. A structured questionnaire was developed and circulated to a large number of manufacturing companies, the paper discusses the findings of the questionnaire and how these can offer an opportunity to develop the interview in the future. The Statistical Package for the Social Science software was used to analyse the data of the surveys. A framework will be proposed to find a suitable implementation process of lean manufacturing to develop the manufacturing sector in Libya.
Sustainable manufacturing is essential for a future green economy. Due to its nonspecific phrasing its prospects are, however, heavily weakened. Thus the concept of ultra-efficiency was developed recently as a vision of future manufacturing systems. Based on a unique system model, five key spheres of action and two enabling technologies, prospective production environments are expected to eliminate waste and emissions thoroughly. Yet, present manufacturing companies mostly experience a lack of position reckoning to begin with. In this paper we hence present a tailored approach for sustainable position reckoning and operational improvement at different organizational layers using Cost-Effectiveness Analysis, Sustainability Balanced Scorecard, Material Flow Cost Accounting and Life Cycle Assessment. The concept was successfully tested in four manufacturing companies in Germany proving extensive transparency gain and organizational improvement.
The purpose of this ongoing research paper is to explore a systematic literature review for measuring the environmental performance of internal supply chains in food manufacturing based on Lean Six Sigma techniques that have gained significant popularity over the years due to their ability to identify and eliminate non value adding but cost incurring activities so as to identify sources of waste in the selected supply chain. Findings show that the rigour and discipline of integrated lean six sigma creates a perfect match for the gap of heavily regulated industries such as food industries where defects can have significant environmental consequences also the future research directions have been suggested for the future researchers. This research is original as it is focused on the gaps between the integrated Lean Six Sigma, food manufacturing and environmental sustainability.
Due to the importance of six-sigma in reducing the defects in products and processes and its rules in TQM as a useful management philosophy, it is apparent that both six-sigma and TQM should be utilised together in order to empower organisations to implement Six-Sigma and TQM in an integrated manner. The purpose of this paper is to develop an integrated conceptual model between six-sigma and TQM to achieve business excellence for manufacturing organisations, the proposed model aims to unify the quality management system and simplify the implementation process to provide impetus and guidance for manufacturing organisations in order to attain better performance and sustainable improvement. Survey questionnaires used to collect practitioners and academic opinion aiming to validate the proposed model, its suitability for manufacture organisation and identifying barriers to successful implementation. The results demonstrated that the proposed model developed is a valuable to practitioners and academics and can help manufacturing organisations to achieve business excellence and attaining sustainable improvement if adopted and applied correctly.
The UK food industry faces significant challenges to remain competitive. With Brexit on the horizon, companies can no longer rely on a low labour cost workforce to maintain low production costs. Industry 4.0 is seen as a technology driven paradigm that aims to significantly improve productivity and performance of a company whilst ensuring better demand/supply chain connectivity. However, there is evidence to suggest that the UK food industry has not yet embraced this new manufacturing paradigm. Through an exploratory survey of 36 food companies (8 large and 28 small) this paper discusses the key issues around whether these companies are prepared for the implementation of I.E 4.0. The discussion provided along with the primary survey data suggests that the larger food companies are starting to focus on I.E 4.0. However, greater awareness of the methods of implementation is needed if companies are able to embed such systems.
This paper investigates Agile Manufacturing (AM) supported by Big Data for manufacturing optimization. The paper aims to identify the limitations of current manufacturing approaches such as just in time (JIT) and lean manufacturing and to map a process based on these limitations.The process works through a process re-engineering (PR) by eliminating and redesigning the steps that affect productions. The process will identify the key enablers that will assist in the design of an effective AM framework for process optimization.The paper also discusses the integration of Big Data (BD) as a major source of information to the manufacturing input. It will try to identify the extent the BD can be useful in manufacturing optimization. In the process, it will look at a specific kind of data like machine sensor data, Enterprise data, social network and website data and design a framework to bring all the information together for us in the manufacturing process.The paper will analyse and design an integration process framework of AM and BD as a new approach to manufacturing for optimal production.
In recent years, the petroleum industry has grown increasingly complex as a result of tighter competition, stricter environmental regulations and lower profit margins. These factors and others forced petroleum companies for a greater need in strategic planning and optimisation in order to make decisions that satisfy conflicting multi-objective situation, goals of maximising expected profit while simultaneously minimising risk. The main purpose of this paper is the design and development of a simulation model for a petroleum supply chain to be used as a planning and decision making tool while considering factors such as oil flow rate, quality of crude oil, distillation time and separators failure rate. The simulation model is then designed and implemented to measure the performance of the petroleum supply chain proposed. ARENA software is used to build the proposed models and the results of experiments are analysed using SPSS software.
Due to variable customer expectations, it is now required to shift from the traditional supply chain models to novel demand patterns where the stakeholders observe the end consumers over a focused viewpoint. Given the lack of life-cycle analysis (LCA) within many innovative products, the research tends to present the use of appropriate strategies for designing new eco-friendly products utilising engineering knowledge and R&D innovation. Fulfilling the initial objectives, a critical systematic review is conducted to find out the literature gaps in a methodical manner. The research proposes to develop a novel framework for an effective linkage between supply-demand chain and the new product development (NPD) processes considering environmental practices. Moreover, a comprehensive LCA would be carried out in future stages to enable industrial designers to critique the product performance and the potential environmental impacts. The results of this study can be utilised by researchers and practitioners researching within similar context.
Trends in modern business management are increasingly pointing toward environmental practices that aim to reduce the impact on the environment and to achieve sustainability. Research in this area has sought to improve the tools and techniques traditionally used to improve operational performance to additionally consider the environmental impact of manufacturing. Green Lean, Environmental Management Systems and Life Cycle Assessment are examples of what manufacturing businesses are using to address the issue. However, a research project conducted by the authors has found that it requires more than just tools and techniques to transform traditional manufacturing into sustainable manufacturing, and a strategic approach is required to align the efforts of environmental and production management. To this end, a framework to integrate life cycle assessment and Lean Six Sigma is proposed. This framework has been developed based on data from questionnaires and interviews in UK manufacturing industry. The aim of this paper is to provide a description of how this framework can be implemented.
There are a lot of economic and social reasons in why manufacturers would need to reduce their impact on the environment, whereby many economic, social and environmental opportunities are being missed on becoming greener without larger investments. The application of lean focuses on the flow between value-adding operations and the removal of waste and non-value adding activities. This paper introduces an analogy that can be drawn with energy efficiency in that savings can be achieved through a modified lean tool; value stream mapping (VSM), via integrating sustainability indicators and measurements with the lean standards, which leads to achieve more sustainable outcomes and savings within the manufacturing stream as well as post-manufacturing stage.
Multifunctionality can be embedded into material systems by three distinct design processes. These are: firstly multifunction can be embedded at a material level such as the use of nanomaterials within a polymer. In the second instance, discrete material systems can be added together. Examples are laminate systems in food pouches consisting of thin layers of metal and polymer. In the third process this can be achieved by integrating these materials systems together to form one holistically behaving component with multifunctionality. An example is an embedded antenna in an automotive windscreen.Drivers for multifunctionality include the increased push towards intelligent objects, such as the creation of the internet of things. Here, the embedding of communication and electronic function into daily consumer objects, such as milk cartons and food packaging are demanded. This must be offset by consideration of the related rise of a new wave of short-lifetime waste electronic and electronic equipment, incapable with current plastic recycling infrastructure, for disposal systems to adapt too. Designing integrated and multifunctional plastic components however, is complicated by the sheer number of material choices, multiple processing platforms, cost implications and environmental legislation. Considering just the processes of injection moulding, compression moulding and additive manufacturing, a designer is confronted with considerable complexity and numerous engineering design and stakeholder issues to consider. This paper presents examples of current state of art in multifunctional systems and discusses the barriers and potential solutions to creating fully realized multifunctional systems within a polymeric manufacturing environment. Impacts on material lifecycles and disposal infrastructures must be considered, as is the necessity to retain diversity with new integrated and advanced manufacturing processes suitable for the demands of mass customization, automation and Industry 4.0.
Recently, Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment framework has been launched for experts from different disciplinary fields to discuss and develop a holistic and integrated approach that supports effective sustainability decisions. Many authors have used different and combination of methodologies in support of this goal; some authors focus on competitive manufacturing with integrated environmental protection elements, some focus on energy and resource efficient technologies and eco-designs while other authors underscored the importance of holistic assessment of the three sustainability factors to drive effective sustainable manufacturing. However, it is evidence from the research that the existing approaches lack holistic and analytical approach that consolidates the objectives of other sustainable product development methods. This paper used a structured approach to a literature review to systematically examine sustainable manufacturing approach and the move from segmented assessment methods to the holistic and integrated Life Cycle Sustainability Analysis, and identify gaps both in practice and research within the manufacturing industry domain. In view of the result, the research proposed a framework that integrates goals that support progressive sustainable product development with methods that focus on the holistic quantitative analysis of the manufacturing production process.
Globalization and mass communication have significantly influenced the socio-economic growth of countries and organizations are under immense pressure to develop their businesses in a more socially responsible way. Consequently, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has emerged as a business development concept. CSR acknowledgement is low in south Asian countries both at state and corporate levels. Pakistan, being a developing country, is no exception and the manufacturing sector, which is the third largest contributing sector to the economy, is facing the challenge of corporate social compliance. This study explores the awareness level amongst employees in the manufacturing sector and also evaluates the practices of CSR activities in these organizations. The study is mainly focused on the textile and automobile sectors and shows greater CSR awareness in the automobile sector than the textile sector; however, there are many organizations where the concept of CSR is unknown. The findings of this research will help organizations in enhancing understanding of CSR amongst employees and will also allow manufacturing industries to improve their implementation against identified weak areas. Increased levels of social compliance will ultimately help organizations in promoting their businesses in the global market.
Eco Lean Management aims at simultaneously improving the economic and ecologic performance of manufacturing systems. Appropriate decision making at the business level requires particularly filtered information for both day-to-day operation and long term strategic alignment. In this paper we thus present a control panel consisting of 18 aggregated indicators supporting decision making for low cost economic and ecologic optimization. Additionally, we provide a system to identify interdependencies as a function of strategic goals and discuss its application from a strategic and operational perspective according to the maturity of a company. We conclude with an example of a job shop production environment at a small manufacturing company.
The accelerated global competitiveness and strict environmental regulations have largely been responsible to encourage manufacturers to adopt sustainable or green practices in manufacturing. Whether it is manufacturing of macro or micro products, sustainable techniques are being given considerable importance to improve quality, and enhance productivity with keeping the environment clean and green simultaneously. This article reports on the sustainable manufacturing of precision miniature gears by abrasive waterjet machining (AWJM) technology. The fabricated spur gear has 8400 μm pitch diameter, 12 teeth, and 5000 μm thickness. Considering its cleaner production aspects and significant benefits over other manufacturing techniques, AWJM process was selected to manufacture precision miniature gears. The manufactured gears were undergone a series of post manufacturing inspection and testing to evaluate their geometric accuracy and surface integrity. It resulted in high manufacturing quality (profile error-14.15 μm), superfine surface finish (having average roughness-1.03 μm), and compressive residual stresses with high hardness at the tooth flanks for the fabricated miniature gear. Investigation reported is also accompanied by a short comparative study between AWJM and gear hobbing to manufacture precision miniature gears of the same specification. It reveals that AWJM is capable to fabricate miniature gears of high quality and surface integrity at significantly lower cost and with less environmental footprints compared to the conventional processes.