Success factors and new conceptual models for the development of process technology in process industry
Sammanfattning: This thesis addresses the development of process technology in Process Industry, and is presented in the form of six appended papers together with an extended abstract. The overall aim of the study is to develop improved concepts and models in the area of process development that can be of further use as management tools to improve performance in the development of process technology. The selected research strategy has been a combination of introductory interviews with R&D Managers followed by a survey to companies in Process Industry. A new matrix for the classification of process development shows that a large part of companies’ expenditures on process development is related to optimisation of the existing production process. R&D managers consider a formal “Process Development Process” very important, but so far only 44% of the companies actually have one. A new conceptual model for the Process Development Process received encouraging support. Two new concepts – product and process development intensity – are put forward. The respondent companies spend 40% of their total R&D resources on process development, and over 60% of them expected this figure to increase. The results do not fit the most widely used theoretical model. Twenty-five potential success factors for process development have been developed and can be used as a shopping list in the development of company success factors. The results show a clear difference between success factors for improvement and innovation of process technology; this strongly supports the need for the process matrix. The total results give a picture of a development area that is quite different from product development, confirming the desirability of a clearer distinction between product and process development as well as of further studies of process development in Process Industry. Some tools developed in this study may be of use to companies in Process Industry in the improvement of their management of process development and R&D. The tools are related to the areas of company resource allocation to different areas of R&D, development of a company-specific work process for process development, and development of a company system for success factors and performance indicators for process development. Implications for academic studies and further research are discussed.
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