The main objective of the thesis “Conceptual Product Development inSmall Corporations” is by the use of a case study test the MFD™-method(Erixon G. , 1998) combined with PMM in a product development project.(Henceforth called MFD™/PMM-method). The MFD™/PMM-methodused for documenting and controlling a product development project hassince it was introduced been used in several industries and projects. Themethod has been proved to be a good way of working with the early stagesof product development, however, there are almost only projects carriedout on large industries which means that there are very few references tohow the MFD™/PMM-method works in a small corporation. Therefore,was the case study in the thesis “Conceptual Product Development inSmall Corporations” carried out in a small corporation to find out whetherthe MFD™/PMM-method also can be applied and used in such acorporation.
The PMM was proposed in a paper presented at Delft University ofTechnology in Holland 1998 by the author and Gunnar Erixon. (Seeappended paper C: The chart of modular function deployment.) The title “Thechart of modular function deployment” was later renamed as PMM,Product Management Map. (Sweden PreCAD AB, 2000). The PMMconsists of a QFD-matrix linked to MIM (Module Indication Matrix) via acoupling matrix which makes it possible to make an unbroken chain fromthe customer domain to the designed product/modules. (See Figure 3-2).The PMM makes it easy to correct omissions made in creating newproducts and modules.
In the thesis “Conceptual Product Development in Small Corporations”the universal MFD™/PMM-method has been adapted by the author tothree models of product development; original-, evolutionary- andincremental development.
The evolutionary adapted MFD™/PMM-method was tested as a casestudy at Atlings AB in the community Ockelbo. Atlings AB is a smallcorporation with a total number of 50 employees and an annual turnoverof 9 million €. The product studied at the corporation was a steady rest for supporting long shafts in turning. The project team consisted ofmanagement director, a sales promoter, a production engineer, a designengineer and a workshop technician, the author as team leader and acolleague from Dalarna University as discussion partner. The project teamhas had six meetings.
The project team managed to use MFD™ and to make a complete PMMof the studied product. There were no real problems occurring in theproject work, on the contrary the team members worked very well in thegroup, having ideas how to improve the product. Instead, the challenge fora small company is how to work with the MFD™/PMM-method in thelong run! If the MFD™/PMM-method is to be a useful tool for thecompany it needs to be used continuously and that requires financial andpersonnel resources. One way for the company to overcome the probablelack of recourses regarding capital and personnel is to establish a goodcooperation with a regional university or a development centre.
KTH: Stockholm , 2010. , 96 p.