• Integrated manufacturing strategy for deployment of CADCAM methodology in a SMME

      Esan, Adedeji O.; Khan, M. Khurshid; Qi, Hong Sheng; Craig, N. (2013)
      Purpose – Cost reduction through the use of technology has become the competitive strength of companies. The benefits of technology integration are quite credible and have been effective in business competition. The purpose of this paper is to describe an integrated manufacturing strategy for the deployment of a CAD/CAM system in a small, medium manufacturing enterprise (SMME). Design/methodology/approach – A case study of a SMME is utilised in deploying an integrated CAD/CAM system for practical application of manufacturing technology for achieving sustainable growth through lean systems design (LSD). The paper presents a techno-economic and technology change management framework, with an application of a holistic set of lean deployment tools that include establishing a strategic and operational plan for implementing CAD/CAM systems as a means to achieving world-class performance. Findings – The paper shows that the CAD/CAM integration within the case company increased knowledge of CAD/CAM technology, productivity, and flexibility whilst reducing throughput times. Based on the literature review and the current case study, a framework for ideal CAD/CAM implementation has been proposed. The paper also shows that management and organisational structures are key inhibitors for successful implementation of technology integration. Research limitations/implications – The paper uses a single case study to validate deployment of the integrated manufacturing strategy in SMMEs. Hence there is a limitation to its generality. Practical implications – ThepaperprovidesanopportunitytofurtherunderstandCAD/CAMsystem implementation protocols within a well structured framework and its configuration within SMMEs. Social implications – The CAD/CAM implementation framework will allow the SMMEs to achieve Lean manufacturing (thereby minimising wastes) leading to improved growth and employment rates. Originality/value – The presentation of conceptualisation, development and implementation of an integrated CAD/CAM system in support of organisational wide Lean manufacturing initiative in SMMEs is an originality of this paper.