Tailoring concurrent engineering to small companies

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Fleming, Alistair

This thesis presents the findings of a four year collaborative programme betvveen Middlesex University and Rimmer Brothers, a small medical device manufacturer. During this time the author and other associates have introduced to the company a new approach to product design based on the principles of Concurrent Engineering (CE). A review of CE case studies reveals how its usage is mainly confmed to large organisations, despite offering universally applicable advantages.\ud \ud In applying such ideas to a company of only ~50 employees, it has become clear that a number of 'environmental factors' including culture, product complexity and available resources influences the implementation and success of CE schemes. Most notably, resource shortages diminish the effects of lead time compression. Use of a modified implementation for the development of several new products has yieldedcost reductions approaching 50% - results comparable with large companies. This demonstrates that if due consideration is given to these factors, then CE can be seen to be a powerful and effective tool in any size of organisation.
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