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A Presentation to the IEEE Jamaica Conference, 2000 : Mechatronics, Sociotechnical Work Systems and the Development of Sustainable Competitive Advantages.

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Presentation on theme: "A Presentation to the IEEE Jamaica Conference, 2000 : Mechatronics, Sociotechnical Work Systems and the Development of Sustainable Competitive Advantages."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Presentation to the IEEE Jamaica Conference, 2000 : Mechatronics, Sociotechnical Work Systems and the Development of Sustainable Competitive Advantages for Manufacturing Industries in Jamaica Gordon Mullings, MSc Physics (UWI) UWI Centre for Environment and Development The Caribbeans Sustainable Development Gateway

2 IC 2 Ts, Mechatronics & Industrial Renewal in Jamaica n Echoing Nicholas Negroponte, we can see that engineered systems are now made from... n BITS, plus ATOMS, in INTELLIGENT STRUCTURES n Thus, digital information is now as much a part of products or processes as hardware

3 From IT to IC 2 Ts n While our Colleagues in Computing often tend to think in terms of Information Technologies, a broader perspective is more useful for engineering in a world of bits plus atoms... IC 2 Ts –That is, Information, Communication and Control Technologies –This highlights the role of Mechatronics

4 Mechatronic Systems n Increasingly, engineered products and systems integrate mechanical, electrical, electronic, instrument and other components under computer control. n The term Mechatronics relates to this fusion, such as in a robot, a page printer, an automobile engine management system, or an industrial sewing machine.

5 Exemplar: Robotic Work Cell With NC Lathe SOURCE: Rhino Rohotics, http://www.rhinorobotics.com/workcell.html

6 Mechatronics As a Design Philosophy n Mechatronics also refers to a design philosophy/strategy that stresses the synergistic performance of systems that integrate precision mechanisms and electronics, under robust computer control. (Such designs, as a rule, will require team- based engineering.) n This design strategy is set to dominate the future; thus it is critical to the renewal of Jamaicas industrial base.

7 Mechatronic System Architecture DYNAMIC SYSTEM SENSORS & INSTRUMENTS INTELLIGENT INTELLIGENTCONTROLLER ACTUATORS I/Ps O/Ps REFERENCE I/Ps DISTURBANCES

8 Control Strategy n The underlying control strategy is: –Sense the dynamic systems behavior. –Compare it with the desired behaviour (which may vary across time) as set by reference i/ps (which may be stored in the controller or externally impressed). –Drive the resulting error towards zero, or at least an acceptable level, in the face of noise, drift, disturbances, etc.

9 Typical Controller Modes n Controllers in such mechatronic products, units or systems may use several modes, such as: n Digital PID (servo and/or regulator) n Discrete state control (a sequence of states/phases executes a process) n Fuzzy control (using weighted sums of partial fuzzy set memberships to give crisp control actions) n Neural Network (emulate the behaviour of neurons and synapses, in hardware or software)

10 E.g. A Fuzzy-PID Loop PIDACTUATORPLANT MEASURINGTRANSMITTERFLC + - A Fuzzy Logic Contoller has three stages:A Fuzzy Logic Contoller has three stages: A fuzzification stage that assigns degrees of membership in fuzzy setsA fuzzification stage that assigns degrees of membership in fuzzy sets A fuzzy rules stage that applies IF-THEN rules to the membershipsA fuzzy rules stage that applies IF-THEN rules to the memberships A defuzzification stage that uses weighted sums to give crisp o/psA defuzzification stage that uses weighted sums to give crisp o/ps SET-POINT O/P

11 Computer Integrated Manufacturing n When such mechatronic process units are integrated in a plant-wide information system, through say the manufacturing automation protocol (MAP) bus, it leads to computer integrated manufacturing, CIM. n This creates an opportunity for extremely flexible manufacturing systems that can reap the advantages of both mass and custom manufacturing.

12 Typical CIM Architecture FACTORY-WIDE BACKBONE LAN MFG CELL G INTERNET Each Cell has an Intra-Cell LAN, with a Cell Controller MKTG SALES ENGG ADAPTED: Halshall, 1992

13 The Heart of a CIM: Manufacturing Planning & Control Systems MPC SYSTEM Mats reqts planningMats reqts planning PurchasingPurchasing Master prod schedMaster prod sched Shop floor controlShop floor control FinancialControl Engineering & Manufacturing Quality Assurance Sales & Marketing ADAPTED: Miller & Vollman, 1985 The Internet: E-Commerce Links: B2C, B2B, B2G

14 Mass Customisation n Mass Customisation results when CIM is integrated into e-commerce: –Customers order what they want, when and where they want it. –Through plant communication networks and CIM, the custom product is manufactured with mass efficiency. –Rapid delivery exploits modern transportation networks.

15 CASE: Dell Computers The Internet allows Dell to find out what each customer wants, instantly and cheaply. Continuous-flow manufacturing cuts the cost of customizing: 35 cargo doors line both ends of Dells... facility. On one side, suppliers deliver components... on the other, workers load finished products onto trucks. Actual assembly takes five minutes. Even adding time for loading software and testing for quality, the whole process takes just four hours. By economizing on spare parts, product inventory, delivery and every other step of the process, the company provides a customized product at a competitive price. No wonder Michael Dell has been lauded as the Henry Ford of mass customization. [NCPA, June 1999.] As a direct result, factories incorporating such technologies are no longer factories of the future but factories with a future. [Bogazici University, 1999]

16 Sociotechnical Work Systems n Technology innovation is not the whole story; organisations are as much social as they are technical. n Thus, the sociotechnical perspective holds that optimum performance comes from a balanced structure. n So, Sociotechnically designed organisations seek... A best fit among workers, jobs, [work teams,] technology and the environment. [Newstrom & Davis, 1993; p. 358.]

17 Sociotechnically-Aware Organisational Development 1. EMPLOYEE - natural work modules that produce a whole product or subunit; that produce a whole product or subunit; start-finish work flow gives skill variety, task start-finish work flow gives skill variety, task identity and task significance. identity and task significance. 2. GROUP - natural work teams, perform an entire unit of work (with perform an entire unit of work (with significant autonomy); promotes teamwork/ significant autonomy); promotes teamwork/ synergy – thus, enhanced performance. synergy – thus, enhanced performance. 3. ORGANISATION - develop balanced develop balanced sociotechnical sociotechnical work systems. work systems. [ADAPTED: N& D]

18 The Evidence n Volvos Udevalla and Kalmar factories of the 70s and 80s, and the Fremont, CA GM-Toyota NUMMI show increased job satisfaction and productivity, with lower costs; absenteeism is down as well. n The Udevalla factories (and other cases) also show that smaller scale industrial concerns can be competitive with standard mass production. n Thus, sociotechnically aware plants can play a significant role in industrial renewal in Jamaica.

19 The Result: Creating Competitive Advantage RESOURCES COMPETENCIES SKILLS & SYNERGIES EFFICIENCY QUALITY INNOVATION CUSTOMER NEED RESPONSIVENESS LOW UNIT COST DIFFERENTIATION OF PRODUCTS VALUE COST PRICE ADAPTED: Hill & Jones, 1998

20 The Impact of High Differentiation & Low Costs LOW HIGH HIGH DIFFERENTIATION RELATIVE PRICE FAILURELIKELY SUCCESS HIGHLY UNCERTAIN SUCCESSLIKELY A* C B ADAPTED: Scott, 1998 D COMMODITIES LUXURY/CUSTOMPRODUCTS * Highly differentiated, low unit cost products

21 Durability of Competitive Advantages n RESOURCE-BASED: tend to be short-term. n SKILLS & SYNERGIES: harder to imitate, especially if based on teamwork and culture (corporate and community). n COMPETITION'S INERTIA: if competitors are locked into a dead past, this may block their ability to adapt and/or require a survival- threatening crisis for them to change. n DYNAMIC INDUSTRIES: Competitive edges are short-lived.

22 The Key Challenge: Sustainability n Competitive advantages must be sustainable, in a global era, or they will at length fail. (So, they must be globally unique and hard to duplicate.) n Further, given the global environmental challenge, Industrial Renewal for Jamaica must factor in the biophysical environment [e.g. ISO 14000] and related socio-cultural issues including poverty, inequity and the welfare of future generations. n In short, echoing Leakim Semaj, We had better think globally before acting locally! n Thus, INNOVATION becomes the critical concern.

23 Innovation - the Process of Creative Destruction n In the 1940s, Schumpeter argued that market economies are subject to a perpetual gale of creative destruction, as innovations (NOT mere inventions) create new products and reallocate productive resources to new, more productive uses. n As this happens, the value of assets locked into the old industrial order is destroyed, as income expectations dry up. n Thus, constant innovation is the key to sustainable competitive edges, survival and prosperity in a global market economy.

24 Creative Destruction, Economic Profit and Economic Development Drucker summarises Schumpeter: In the economy of change and innovation, profit... is the only source of jobs for workers and of innovation, profit... is the only source of jobs for workers and of labour income... No one except the innovator makes a genuine labour income... No one except the innovator makes a genuine [economic] profit; and the innovators profit is always short-lived. But innovation is also creative destruction. It makes obsolete But innovation is also creative destruction. It makes obsolete yesterdays capital equipment and capital investment. The more yesterdays capital equipment and capital investment. The more an economy progresses, the more capital formation will it need... an economy progresses, the more capital formation will it need... To maintain the wealth-producing capacity of the economy and, above all, to maintain todays jobs and to create tomorrows jobs.... all, to maintain todays jobs and to create tomorrows jobs.... The question... is always, Is there sufficient profit? Is there adequate capital formation to provide for the costs of the future, adequate capital formation to provide for the costs of the future, the costs of staying in business, the costs of creative destruction? the costs of staying in business, the costs of creative destruction?

25 Creative Destruction and Jamaicas Economy n While we may challenge Schumpeter on the deleterious effects of Monopolies and their profits, it seems clear that we have repeatedly been caught napping by creative destruction: n Sugar, Bananas & Agriculture generally n Bauxite, import substitution and light manufactures n Tourism... ??? n The basic lesson: only in innovation is there hope for survival - the very super-normal profits that we enjoy today are the magnet that attracts the competition that will erode those profits tomorrow! n Therefore, let us take the Product Life Cycle to heart.

26 The Product Life Cycle 1 2 3 4 5 1. Emergence 2. Growth 3. Shakeout 4. Maturity 5. Decline/Renewal Time IndexofSuccess

27 Fostering Innovation: The Business Incubator n New businesses are often risky, given the inexperience of those who start and staff them. n Thus, over the past several decades - and worldwide - Business Incubators, often tied to Universities, have been developed to supply mentoring, training, financing, office services and space to promising start-ups. n In many cases, they have moved the five-year survival rate for such start-ups from about 20% to sometimes in excess of 80% - a major success story. n Such incubators should also be backed up with adequate venture capital capacity. (Say, a joint GOJ-CDB- Universities- Financial Industry initiative?)

28 Implications for Industrial Renewal n Mechatronics, CIM, mass customisation and sociotechnical plant design offer possibilities for a new, innovative and competitive industrial architecture for Jamaica. n Innovation and entrepreneurship are obviously survival imperatives for Jamaican industry, in a global IC 2 T world. n A Business Incubation strategy offers the potential to jump-start and sustain this process. n A national venture capital capacity will be a critical support for such an initiative.

29 Possible Target Industries n PRESENT INDUSTRIES: renewal consultancies and initiatives, in light of CIM and Mass Customisation n POSSIBLE INCUBATOR INITIATIVES: –Mass Custom clothing, shoes and textiles: Cf. Levis Personal Pair Jeans –Robotics (including industrial robots and robotic vehicles such as courier, agriculture & security aircraft) –Agro-industry Machinery & Transportation (CIM-based, sociotechnical production systems, cf. Volvo) –Factory-built custom housing –Biomedical Electronics & Instrumentation, smart prosthetics –Biotechnology-based industries –CD manufacture and publishing (music, multimedia, education)

30 Implications for Engineering & Technology Education n Curricula should not only emphasise IC 2 Ts & Mechatronics (from day one), but also entrepreneurial management and general analytical and strategic thinking - towards world-class competitive advantages. n These schools should have attached enterprise incubation and venture capital capacity; and also consultancy capacity to support renewal of existing industries in Jamaica. n U.Techs SOE (and other schools of engineering, technology and applied science) must provide the critical manpower through a world-class education at professional, technologist and technician levels.

31 A Possible Timetable for Renewal n YEARS 1 - 5: Develop Basic Capacity: –Technology & Applied Science Education –Technology Enterprise Incubation –Industry Renewal Consultancy –Venture Capital Institutions & finaning n YEARS 6 - 10: Further develop New/Renewed Industries – Support further growth of incubator/renewal successes –Develop Targetted Research Capacity & a follow-on generation of industries –Multiply the number of support institutions n YEARS 11 - : Accelerate the process

32 Towards Industrial Renewal in Jamaica n Given the fact of creative destruction, if Jamaican industry is to survive, much less thrive, in the century ahead, we must build sustainable competitive advantages on the foundation of innovation. n Such innovation will have to stress IC 2 Ts, mechatronics, mass customisation, sociotechnical insights and entrepreneurial management. n It will also have to be backed up by world-class education, enterprise incubation and venture capital capacity. There is no alternative, if we are to survive and prosper in the emerging global age.

33 The Bottom-line:


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