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Practices for Manufacturing Involvement in New Product Development


Mariam Nafisi

Publication Type:

Licentiate Thesis


With 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 must be released to the market at the right time, at a reasonable price, and with a high level of quality. Manufacturing has a determining role in achieving delivery, cost, and quality targets. Early manufacturing involvement in NPD plays a significant role in achieving manufacturability and reducing costs. The point of departure in the performed 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 is to investigate practices used for manufacturing involvement in the early stages of the NPD process in order to understand how they support management of manufacturing requirements. To fulfill the objective of the thesis, two case studies were conducted—a single-case and a 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-stage NPD; moreover, what manufacturing requirements were raised was also investigated. 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, and discussions during meetings. Further, these mechanisms were analysed to define how they supported the 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 their fulfillment. This research suggests that the manufacturing function should first work toward identifying their requirements and then focus on communicating and following up the requirements using appropriate mechanisms. In other words, to improve the manufacturability aspects and outcomes of manufacturing involvement, manufacturing requirements should be incorporated effectively and efficiently in an NPD project.


author = {Mariam Nafisi},
title = {Practices for Manufacturing Involvement in New Product Development},
month = {June},
year = {2018},
url = {}