KEYWORDS: Design Manufacturing Interface; Product Development; Inter-cultural Cooperation; Communication; Production Transfer; Dispersed Settings; ABSTRACT:
After opening of China‟s borders to foreign trade and investment, over the last decades, a growing number of foreign company‟s attention has been drawn to China due to the immense market potential, and a huge source of cheap labor. Swedish industry, however, is not an exception from this tremendous trend in the world, as their recent acquisitions have given access to production facilities in China. This transfer of product/production from Sweden to China has emerged two major concerns including Design and Manufacturing (DM) interaction between geographically distant settings, in conjunction with inter-cultural considerations.
Lately, the concept of interaction between DM has been growing in the scholar thoughts. Typically, different challenges such as different personalities and cultural differences exist towards having an enhanced collaboration during the development process. This study uses a framework for integration mechanisms which comprises number of approaches such as DfX, CE, cross-functional teams, and modern quality management.
Second, this study by carrying out 6 interviews within the Chinese plants in four Swedish-Chinese based companies identifies the main challenges of interaction of design in Sweden and manufacturing in China (2 pilot companies and 2 target companies). The most frequent challenges are spotted as cultural clashes, ineffective collaboration, frustrating verification process, inadequate management system, and lack of technical knowledge. By including cultural attributes, a literature...