New technology in manufacturing industry

Black, Sam P. (1980) New technology in manufacturing industry. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This thesis is concerned with the problem of new technology in manufacturing industry. Increasing attention is being focused on the possible consequences of new technology as it begins to penetrate the various factors or elements within firms. Claims of massive unemployment and growing dissatisfaction with people de-skilled by automation have been made by various authorities and organisations, yet little recorded research has been made on this subject to provide evidence of the real effect and problem of new technology. Two types of new technology are studied in this research project. The first technology is that of the numerical control machine tool which having been introduced in the 1950s was slow to develop in the 1960s and has now become of major prominence in manufacturing industry. The research investigates the problems associated with this technology and the effects it has had on industry. The second technology is that of the co-ordinate measuring machine, an entirely new technology developed out of the wake of numerical control machine tools and part of an advance in measuring technology never before seen in the field of metrology or manufacturing. A model of the enterprise is proposed which shows a linking relationship between 6 key factors namely, organisation (structures), management (decision-making), strategies (objectives and plans), machine shop environment (the technology), control systems (return on investment) and people (behaviour). Each of these factors are examined against established theoretical bases, prior research and the findings from this project. From a brief description of the development of measuring machines and the invention of the co-ordinate measuring machine, the investigation consists of a logical analysis in 5 steps of manufacturing plants experiencing change due to the introduction of new technology. The first 2 steps examine the single manufacturing plant for the effects of numerical control machine tools and the effects of co-ordinate measuring machines. The third step is the investigation of a multinational organisation for the effect of co-ordinate measuring machines in 23 plants. The final 2 steps in the investigation analyse a large number of manufacturing firms using and not using co-ordinate measuring machines to determine any differences in organisation structures, strategies and people, then concentrates the study on firms using co-ordinate measuring machines to ascertain the overall effects on this larger population of manufacturing firms. The objectives of the thesis are two-fold: the investigation of a very major and critical development in industry, and the research for constructive conclusions which would create positive contribution to manufacturing industry. The outcome will show that manufacturing industry has to make radical changes if it is to maximise on the advantages of new technologies.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Gallagher, Prof. C.C.
Date of Award: 1980
Depositing User: Mrs Marie Cairney
Unique ID: glathesis:1980-9108
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 16 May 2018 14:47
Last Modified: 16 May 2018 14:49
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/9108

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