The public defence of Mariam Nafisi's licentiate thesis in Innovation and Design

Doctoral thesis and Licentiate seminars

Datum: 2018-06-18
Tid: 10.00
Plats: Filen, Eskilstuna

The public defence of Mariam Nafisi's licentiate thesis in Innovation and Design will take place at Mälardalen University on June 18, 2018, at 10.00 in room Filen, Eskilstuna.

Title: “Practices for Manufacturing Involvement in New Product Development - A study with assembly requirements in focus”.  

Serial number: 269

The examining committee consists of Docent Kerstin Johansen, Linköping university, Consulting Senior Lecturer Björn Fagerström, MDH.

Among the members of the examining committee, Robin Hanson, Chalmers, has been appointed the faculty examiner.

Reserve; Professor Yvonne Eriksson, MDH


With the increasing competition in the market, new product development (NPD) has gained more importance for many industries. The viability of manufacturing companies is determined by the success or failure of their products, thus, companies try to be more innovative while streamlining their processes in order to remain competitive. New products should demonstrate superiority in design and performance. Moreover, they shall be released to the market at the right time, at a reasonable price and with high level of quality. Manufacturing has a determining role in achieving quality, delivery and costs. Early manufacturing involvement in the new product development plays a significant role in achieving manufacturability and reducing costs.

The point of departure in the studies was that the reason for manufacturing involvement in NPD projects is to ensure transfer of manufacturing requirements between manufacturing and design functions. Thus, the objective of this thesis has been to investigate practices used for manufacturing involvement in early stages of NPD process in order to understand how they support management of manufacturing requirements.

To  fulfil the objective of the thesis, two case studies were conducted, comprising one single-case and one multiple-case study. The studies included three NPD projects in two manufacturing companies. The aim of the studies was to investigate how manufacturing requirements were managed and communicated to product design teams in early stages NPD. Moreover, what manufacturing requirements were raised. The findings revealed that requirements which were raised comprised three clusters: requirements on the physical properties of the parts, requirements from the assembly process perspective and requirements from the material handling perspective. Further, mechanisms utilized in managing the requirements were identified as various risk analyses (e.g. SWOT and FMEA), DFA guidelines, ergonomics checklist, simulation and CAD tools, design reviews, digital/physical test assemblies as well as discussions during meetings. Further, these mechanisms were analysed to define how they supported management of manufacturing requirements. The analysis indicated that the mechanisms could be used to support the management of requirements in three ways: to elicit the requirements, to inform them, or to evaluate and assess the fulfilment of them.

This research suggests that manufacturing function should first work towards identifying their requirements, then, they should focus on communicating and following up the requirements using the right mechanisms. In other words, to improve the manufacturability aspects and outcomes of manufacturing involvement, manufacturing requirements should be incorporated effectively and efficiently in the NPD project.