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  • 1.
    Adamsson, Niklas
    KTH, Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM), Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.), Maskinkonstruktion (Avd.).
    Interdisciplinary integration in complex product development: managerial implications of embedding software in manufactured goods2007Doktoravhandling, med artikler (Annet vitenskapelig)
    Abstract [en]

    Incorporating electronics and software systems into manufactured goods is becoming very common in manufacturing companies. New technical functions, increased flexibility, and compensation for mechanical design weaknesses are some key drivers of this technological change in our everyday products. The automotive industry exemplifies this trend, since approximately 80–90% of new functions in cars are based on electronics and software, and it is expected that at least a third of the total cost of a car will eventually be accounted for by electronics and software. However, one of the main downsides of this technological trend is the increasing number of quality issues related to these new technologies, something usually claimed to be a result of the increased product development complexity.

    Previous research into product development management has mainly concentrated on either physical products or software systems, but not concurrently on both. Additionally, much of the research has concentrated on issues of integrating marketing, R&D, and manufacturing in these companies, and has treated the engineering disciplines in R&D as a homogenous group. Motivated by this change in technology content and the lack of research into complex product development and especially into integration between engineering disciplines, the present work investigates how to increase operational performance in multidisciplinary engineering organizations. This work has especially focused on interdisciplinary integration and the feasibility of various so-called integration mechanisms, such as building common physical facilities, job rotation programs, the implementation and use of information and communications technology, and computer-aided engineering tools.

    Both qualitative and quantitative research has been performed, involving 11 different companies and over 300 respondents. Supported by the present findings, it is demonstrated that interdisciplinary integration is a crucial factor to consider, and it is concluded that certain integration mechanisms stand out as more important than others. Organizational structure, work procedures and methods, training, social systems, and computer-aided engineering were the five types of mechanisms that displayed the greatest potential for improvement.

    It is further concluded that the ability to successfully match the body of practices to current products is essential, since there is a high risk of current practices becoming out-dated with respect to the technology content. Furthermore, inadequate identification of or managerial ability to establish the currently most important interfaces complicate the choice of trade-offs between various technologies that are found to be essential to cope with the inherent dynamic complexity. The organizational powerbase is often re-positioned in the studied organizations, and the loss of decisive power can result in a demoralizing ignorance of newly established disciplines and their design practices. Additionally, rigid structures and counterproductive traditions can reduce the potential gains accruing from new boundary-spanning innovations, so organizational responsibilities and mandates must be declared unambiguously, in many cases differently from how they have been in the past.

    Based on these conclusions, it is suggested that managers in organizations like those studied must be able to do the following: cultivate software knowledge in all parts and levels of the product development organization; reassess their recruitment strategies; organize for interdisciplinary collaboration; articulate and communicate the technology fusion strategy to all disciplines; and realize and disseminate the fact that product launches do not only concern manufacturability.

  • 2.
    Adamsson, Niklas
    KTH, Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM), Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.), Maskinkonstruktion (Avd.).
    Management of mechatronics engineering: reflections and propositions2005Inngår i: Proceedings of 12th International Product Development ManagementConference, vol. 1, 2005, Vol. 1(3), s. 35-48Konferansepaper (Fagfellevurdert)
  • 3.
    Adamsson, Niklas
    KTH, Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM), Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.), Maskinkonstruktion (Avd.).
    Mechatronics engineering: New requirements on cross-functional integration2005Licentiatavhandling, med artikler (Annet vitenskapelig)
    Abstract [en]

    Several industrial sectors experience an increased reliance on mechatronic systems as electronics and software are being embedded into the traditional mechanical systems of these industries. Important challenges within mechatronics engineering comes from management of multi-disciplinary development project teams and the highly complex scope of problems, which in turn require extensive coordination and integration, both in terms of technical and organisational matters.

    The concept of cross-functional integration in product development research has in previous research mainly addressed integration of the functions marketing, R&D, and manufacturing, and whereas the present thesis is delimited to include only the R&D organization and the functions and engineering disciplines within such an organization.

    The purpose with thesis has been to investigate mechatronics engineering in order to understand and explain how co-operation, integration, and knowledge sharing between engineering disciplines can be supported.

    This research has been realized by empirical studies in mechatronic development settings in engineering companies, but also by taking part in industrial and academic research projects that develop and study computer-aided mechatronics engineering.

    Findings presented in this thesis show that mechatronics is a matter of integration at three organizational levels where the most substantial needs are found to be at the team-level and the individual level. Furthermore, it is identified that to be able to succeed in mechatronics engineering, managers and engineers must look beyond disciplinary needs. Subsequently, both teamwork and competence management become key issues for management of mechatronics engineering. Finally, computer-supported and model-based development of mechatronics show great potential for successful integration of engineering disciplines, even though such technological aids are still rather immature and needs further research and development. A tentative analysis model of organizational integration for mechatronics engineering is also presented and discussed in this thesis.

    Based on the presented findings, it is concluded that companies incorporating electronics and software in their mechanical products must effectively manage software and electronics development of these embedded systems. Despite the focus on cross-functional integration in engineering companies, this thesis shows examples of inadequate integration of software and electronics engineering with mechanical integration in organisations dominated by the latter.

    Future research studies are needed to investigate the relation between factors influencing the need for organizational integration and potential integration mechanisms. To further understand mechatronics engineering it is important to look deeper into research issues such as changed conditions for the engineering profession implied by multidisciplinary settings, social systems supporting integration of disciplines, changed work conditions due to implementation of technological aids for model-based system development, relationship between product and organizational complexity, organizational designs supporting integration of engineering disciplines, and cross-disciplinary training of highly specialized engineers.

  • 4.
    Adamsson, Niklas
    KTH, Tidigare Institutioner, Maskinkonstruktion.
    Model-based development of mechatronic systems — Reducing the gaps between competencies?2004Inngår i: Proceedings of TMCE 2004: The fifth international symposium on Tools and Methods of Competitive Engineering / [ed] Horvath I, Xirouchakis P, Rotterdam: MILLPRESS SCIENCE PUBLISHERS , 2004, Vol. 1(2), nr 405-414, s. 405-413Konferansepaper (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents the results of a multiple case study performed within the Swedish vehicle industry. The objective of the study was to explore and describe how modeling affects collaboration within multidisciplinary product development from the perspective of developers. Most research on mechatronics design is focused on technology and/or is limited to one or a few of the disciplines involved. By contrast, the focus of this study is on collaboration between and integration of different technical disciplines. A total of 21 semi-structured interviews were conducted during a period of five months. The criterion for a valid case was that it concerned a development project including distributed functionality and multidisciplinary teams. The main conclusions are that a higher degree of competence integration is needed as complexity increases, that a mutually agreed language is needed within an organization, that the modeling approach within an organization should be aligned, that the tasks where different technical disciplines meet must be identified in order to achieve early system integration, and that short-term co-locations would increase understanding and problem solving efficiency. This research has many similarities with earlier research performed on integrated product development, hut has a different focus level. Instead of on marketing-manufacturing-R&D, the focus is on the technical disciplines within R&D.

  • 5.
    Adamsson, Niklas
    et al.
    KTH, Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM), Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.), Integrerad produktutveckling.
    Grimheden, Martin
    KTH, Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM), Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.), Mekatronik.
    The Product Developer: Education and Professional Role2007Inngår i: Proceedings of ICED 2007, the 16th International Conference on Engineering Design, 2007Konferansepaper (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this paper is to present results from a study examining the relation between the educational background and professional roles with engineers engaged in product development. Derived from previous studies, the product development engineer ought to be a multifaceted engineer, knowledgeable and skilled in several fields. This engineer should work interdisciplinary, integrative and with the aim to be creative and innovative. By using a substantial data set consisting of 300 engineers in Swedish product development organizations, we derive some important research propositions. The data shows that there are correlations between organizational responsibilities and educational program, in particular regarding focus on design, system integration, project management and technical coordination. If we want to understand how the engineering education affects the professional role of an engineer; we believe that it is critical to further investigate the developed propositions. One example is mechanical engineers; the data shows that the studied mechanical engineers rarely work with design. Our proposition is therefore to investigate the identity and legitimacy of these programs to further clarify the professional role.

  • 6.
    Adamsson, Niklas
    et al.
    KTH, Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM), Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.), Maskinkonstruktion (Avd.).
    Malvius, Diana
    KTH, Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM), Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.), Maskinkonstruktion (Avd.).
    Formal and informal roles in complex product development2005Inngår i: 2005 IEEE International Engineering Management Conference, Vols 1 and 2, 2005, s. 559-563Konferansepaper (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper illustrates the importance of well-articulated and demarcated roles in complex product development settings. In order to support interdisciplinary knowledge and information sharing formally assigned roles in an organization can be an effective facilitator. It is argued that without comprehensive technical knowledge it is difficult for individuals to identify the relevance and distinctiveness of technical and administrative information.

  • 7.
    Adamsson, Niklas
    et al.
    KTH, Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM), Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.), Maskinkonstruktion (Avd.).
    Zika-Viktorsson, Annika
    KTH, Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM), Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.).
    Challenges and outlooks for software and electrical engineering in traditional mechanical engineering companies: an investigation into workforce implications2006Artikkel i tidsskrift (Annet vitenskapelig)
  • 8.
    Adamsson, Niklas
    et al.
    KTH, Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM), Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.), Maskinkonstruktion (Avd.).
    Zika-Viktorsson, Annika
    KTH, Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM), Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.), Maskinkonstruktion (Avd.).
    Multidisciplinary product development: - a case study of mechatronics enineeringArtikkel i tidsskrift (Annet vitenskapelig)
  • 9.
    Adamsson, Niklas
    et al.
    KTH, Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM), Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.), Maskinkonstruktion (Avd.).
    Zika-Viktorsson, Annika
    KTH, Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM), Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.).
    The relative effectiveness of different mechanisms for integrating engineering disciplines in complex product development2007Artikkel i tidsskrift (Annet vitenskapelig)
  • 10.
    Adamsson, Niklas
    et al.
    KTH, Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM), Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.), Maskinkonstruktion (Avd.).
    Zika-Viktorsson, Annika
    Understanding the importance of interdisciplinary integration in complex product development2007Rapport (Annet vitenskapelig)
  • 11.
    Törngren, Martin
    et al.
    KTH, Tidigare Institutioner                               , Maskinkonstruktion.
    Adamsson, Niklas
    KTH, Tidigare Institutioner                               , Maskinkonstruktion.
    Johanesson, Per
    Lessons Learned from Model Based Development of a Distributed Embedded Automotive Control System.2004Inngår i: SP-1852, 2004Konferansepaper (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    Model based development promises to facilitate the development of embedded control systems, including design, early verification and validation as well as implementation. Existing tools are beginning to support the development of distributed control systems. There are however still challenges when it comes to integration with mechanics and methodologies for such interdisciplinary systems.

  • 12.
    Törngren, Martin
    et al.
    KTH, Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM), Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.), Maskinkonstruktion (Avd.).
    Grimheden, Martin
    KTH, Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM), Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.), Maskinkonstruktion (Avd.).
    Adam, Niklas
    KTH, Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM), Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.), Maskinkonstruktion (Avd.).
    Experiences from large embedded systems development projects in education, involving industry and research2007Inngår i: ACM SIGBED Review, ISSN 1551-3688, Vol. 4, nr 1, s. 55-63Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    We present experiences from a final year M.Sc.course. The overall aim of the course is to provide knowledge andskills to develop products in small or large development teams.The course is implemented in terms of large projects incooperation with external partners, in which the students, basedon a product specification, apply and integrate their accumulatedknowledge in the development of a prototype. This course, whichhas been running and further elaborated for 20 years, has beenproven successful in terms of being appreciated by the studentsand by the external partners. The course has during the recentyears more frequently been carried out in close connection toresearch groups. Our experiences indicate benefits by carrying outthese types of large projects in an educational setting, withexternal partners as project providers, and in close cooperationwith research groups.Having external partners as project providers feeds the course,students and faculty with many industrially relevant problems thatare useful for motivational purposes, and in other courses forexemplification and for case studies in research. Carrying out theprojects in close connection to research groups provides synergybetween research and education, and can improve the academiclevel of the projects. A further interesting dimension isaccomplished when the projects run in iterations, requiring newgroups of students to take over an already, partly developedcomplex system, and work incrementally on this system. Thestudents are then faced with a very typical industrial situation. Weadvocate that students should be exposed to a mixture of “buildfrom scratch” and “incremental” projects during the education.

  • 13.
    Törngren, Martin
    et al.
    KTH, Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM), Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.), Mekatronik.
    Grimheden, Martin
    KTH, Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM), Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.), Mekatronik.
    Adamsson, Niklas
    KTH, Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM), Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.), Mekatronik.
    Experiences from large embedded systems development projects in education, involving industry and research2006Inngår i: Proceedings of the Workshop on Embedded Systems Education, WESE2006 / [ed] Jeff Jackson, 2006Konferansepaper (Fagfellevurdert)
    Abstract [en]

    We present experiences from a final year M.Sc.course. The overall aim of the course is to provide knowledge andskills to develop products in small or large development teams.The course is implemented in terms of large projects incooperation with external partners, in which the students, basedon a product specification, apply and integrate their accumulatedknowledge in the development of a prototype. This course, whichhas been running and further elaborated for 20 years, has beenproven successful in terms of being appreciated by the studentsand by the external partners. The course has during the recentyears more frequently been carried out in close connection toresearch groups. Our experiences indicate benefits by carrying outthese types of large projects in an educational setting, withexternal partners as project providers, and in close cooperationwith research groups.Having external partners as project providers feeds the course,students and faculty with many industrially relevant problems thatare useful for motivational purposes, and in other courses forexemplification and for case studies in research. Carrying out theprojects in close connection to research groups provides synergybetween research and education, and can improve the academiclevel of the projects. A further interesting dimension isaccomplished when the projects run in iterations, requiring newgroups of students to take over an already, partly developedcomplex system, and work incrementally on this system. Thestudents are then faced with a very typical industrial situation. Weadvocate that students should be exposed to a mixture of “buildfrom scratch” and “incremental” projects during the education.

1 - 13 of 13
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