Composite materials is an industry where technology selection has major consequences as there is not a standard manufacturing process, nor are there standardised materials with defined or proscribed properties for companies to select as multiple solutions are technically viable. This research aims to identify key factors for manufacturing technology selection in the UK composite materials supply chain. Literature review and managers’ opinions were used to identify 18 factors affecting manufacturing technology selection. This was followed by a survey comprising the multi-tier supply chain of the composite materials industry. The results of the survey show ‘on time deliveries/service level to customers’, ‘improve quality’ and ‘reduce cycle time’ received the highest average ratings. In this study a correlation analysis was performed to identify the underlying dependencies between the factors investigated. The identification and use of underlying dependencies rather than highest average provided a more comprehensive picture of the factors that affect technology selection in the composite materials industry. For this study, experts in composite materials were asked to comment on the findings of the survey and their value to the industry. The results presented may assist companies in the composite materials industry with technology selection decision-making processes.
Bibliographical notePublisher Statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Production Planning and Control on 31st of October 2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09537287.2016.1252070
- Technology selection
- manufacturing supply chains
- supply chain management
- composite materials