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Abstract

Growing demands for building projects result from economic development. The building industry is dynamic and multifaceted. Efficient and effective practice of building production management (BPM) is required to successfully execute projects and achieve project goals upon completion as well as functionality aims for the lifespan of a building. This research aims to determine factors that influence the BPM practice in the Nigerian construction industry, particularly; during the project execution phase. A cross-sectional survey used; a questionnaire to identify 73 factors, which were grouped into 12 categories and assessed. A purposive sampling technique was used to identify 20 construction organisations specialising in building production management in Lagos, Nigeria. 114 questionnaires were distributed to the pool of stakeholders, which included 31 clients, 34 consultants and 49 contractors of current and past building production projects carried out by the selected firms in Lagos. The research used a selection of statistical tools for SPSS v.23, including the chi-square test, the Kruskal-Wallis test and Kendall's coefficient of concordance. The obtained result revealed the factors that mostly influence the BPM practice namely, architectural drawings, the construction programme document, the work breakdown structure, the adequacy of communication and coordination between the parties, the adequacy of raw materials and equipment, the availability of the competent team, the implementation of the safety management system, regular maintenance of project equipment, clear and timely inspections, the availability of funds as planned throughout the project duration, the availability of skilled personnel, and the aesthetics of the completed work. The research resulted in the development of the BPM implementation framework and recommendations for the improvement of the BPM practice in Nigeria.

Abstract

As Industry 4.0 offers significant productivity improvements, its relevance has grown across various organisations. While it captures the attention of both the industry and the academia, very few efforts have been made to streamline useful indicators across stages of its implementation. Such work facilitates the development of strategies that are appropriate for a specific stage of implementation; therefore, it would be significant to a variety of stakeholders. As a result, this paper aims to establish an indicator system for adopting Industry 4.0 within the context of the three stages of the innovation adoption: (i) pre-adoption, (ii) adoption, and (iii) post-adoption. First, a comprehensive review was performed with a search expanding into the literature on innovation and technology adoption. Second, the resulting indicators were filtered for relevance, redundancy, description, and thorough focus discussions. Finally, they were categorised by their stage of adoption. From 469 innovation adoption indicators found in the literature, this work identified a total of 62 indicators relevant for the Industry 4.0 adoption, in which 11, 14, and 37 of them comprised the three stages, respectively. Case studies from two manufacturing firms in the Philippines were reported to demonstrate the applicability of the proposed indicator system. This work pioneers the establishment of an indicator system for the Industry 4.0 adoption and the classification of such indicators into three stages — pre-adoption, adoption, and post-adoption — which would serve as a framework for decision-makers, practitioners, and stakeholders in planning, strategy development, resource allocation, and performance evaluation of the Industry 4.0 adoption.

Abstract

For TOC (Theory of Constraints) implementation in a production system, the determination of the system's bottleneck is a crucial step. Effective bottleneck identification allows setting priorities for the improvement of a production system. The article deals with a significant problem for the manufacturing industry related to the location of a bottleneck. The article aims for a detailed analysis of methods for bottleneck identification based on a comprehensive literature review and the design of a generalised methodology for bottleneck identification in the production system. The article uses two research methods, first, the combination of a narrative and scoping literature review, and second, the logical design. Several methods for bottleneck identification are reviewed and compared, finding some being similar, and others giving new insights into the evaluated production system. A methodology for bottleneck identification is proposed. It contains several detailed methods arranged in coherent steps, which are suggested to be followed when aiming for the recognition of a production system's bottleneck. The proposed methodology is expected to be helpful in the practical TOC implementation. The presented methodology for the identification of bottlenecks in a production system is a practical tool for managers and experts dealing with TOC. However, it is still a conceptual proposal that needs to be tested empirically. The proposed methodology for bottleneck identification is an original concept based on the current literature output. It contributes to the production management theory as a practical managerial tool.

Abstract

Industry, which on average accounts for about 60% of commodity exports in the EU-28, with over 58% resulting from the processing industry, plays a key role in ensuring the competitiveness of EU countries. The article aims to simulate the influence of structural processing industry parameters on the industry's efficiency. Correlation methods and the regression analysis were used to substantiate the hypotheses regarding the effect that the share comprised of high-tech and medium-high-tech industries has on the output structure, and the impact made by the share of imports in the intermediate consumption of those industries on the efficiency (the share of gross value added (GVA) in output) of the processing industry. Based on the criteria indicating the increased technological level and reduced import dependence, economic and mathematical models of optimisation were created for the output structure and intermediate consumption of the processing industry, which were then solved using the linear programming method. The authors present the mathematical proof of the relationship between the change in structural parameters (shares of high-tech and medium-tech industries and the share of imports in the structure of their intermediate consumption) of the processing industry and the ratio of the gross value added/output. The results of the simulation, which were based on data from the European Statistical Office and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, provide an analytical basis for selecting industrial policy benchmarks.

Abstract

The main paper aims to evaluate the impact of organisational competence on knowledge and information flows within cluster organisations and technology parks, with particular emphasis on innovative content knowledge. The paper addresses the research question: “What set of competencies of cooperating companies allows access to information and knowledge in cluster and parks structures?” The authors report their findings from a quantitative study carried out in four cluster organisations and three technology parks functioning in Poland. The research sample covered a total of 269 enterprises: 132 cluster members and 137 park tenants. The primary method of data collection was a survey questionnaire. Data analysis was conducted using the interdependence of variables, ANOVA, and logistic regression. The research showed that the surveyed enterprises from both analysed groups preferred cooperation with partners of a similar level of competence development and the same or complementary scope of competence. This set of competencies of cooperating organisations also guaranteed better access to information and knowledge resources, including confidential information and new knowledge. This study additionally indicated that the knowledge creation activities performed by the cooperating cluster organisations depended on the proximity of the competencies of organisations as well as on the nature of the information, disseminated within the cluster organisations. The theoretical contribution is related to the results obtained by analysing the phenomenon of information and knowledge dissemination in cluster and park structures, revealing the impact made by the competence proximity of cooperating organisations on the access to this such resources. Thus, the findings supplement the state-of-the-art knowledge of the concept of industrial clusters by presenting a broader view on cooperation developed in geographical proximity, based on a set of various partner competencies.

Abstract

Indicators, different in terms of nature and grading scales, are used to recognise hazardous and harmful factors that affect human health. However, no single methodology is available for their assessment, and the variety of qualimetric assessment methods requires in-depth research, in part on optimality and efficiency. Therefore, this work aimed to conduct several scientific studies to obtain the results of the assessment in unified units of measurement, which would provide a generalised indicator of harmful factors at the workplace. The article proposes to use dependencies to assess indicators of harmful factors, considering the maximum, minimum, and optimal values as well as the shape parameter, the change of which produces various assessments in a dimensionless scale. A hierarchy analysis method was used to obtain reliable values with a small number of experts and determine the form parameter. These efforts resulted in the value of the overall index for harmful factors, which serves as grounds for decisions regarding further improvements in working conditions. The developed methodology was used to assess the safety of working conditions at a machine-building enterprise, and the results are presented in the article.

Abstract

The paper introduces Robotic Process Automation (RPA), which is an emerging and cutting-edge conception of business processes automation, based on the notion of software robots or artificial intelligence workers. The paper is conceptual as it discusses the fundamentals behind this idea, synthesises the knowledge of technology, and presents it in a new context. It is based on the author's considerations and the literature review, which contributes to the insight into the basic understanding of RPA technology as well as systematises and clarifies RPA definitions, identifies market trends, formulates a set of predictions for further development of this technology, and highlights directions for future inquiry. Additionally, logical arguments are proposed for considering RPA as a technology that enables and advances digital transformation. Moreover, criteria are indicated for business processes suitable for RPA. Nowadays, the robotisation of business processes a s innovative technology is more often practically implemented than it is investigated by research. Published papers outline real examples of implemented cases of RPA technology in organisations that mainly represent service industries. These case studies allow identifying possible advantages and risks derived from RPA implementation. Recent studies also report benefits of the RPA application in terms of productivity, costs, service quality, and error reduction. Some authors propose the criteria for selecting processes suitable for automation and robotisation. This paper constitutes a foundation for new research aimed at filling knowledge gaps in this area. Responding to the call by van der Aalst, academic discourse on RPA must be initiated.

Abstract

Farm tractors due to the nature of their work are exposed to a substantial risk of failures. The issues of their reliability are unusually significant in the aspect of the time limit of realisation of agricultural works in agrotechnical seasons. Nowadays, tractors provided for agriculture have increasingly complex functional units. The aim of the paper was to analyse reliability of presently produced farm tractors. Three tractor makes were evaluated and the analysis of failures was carried out with regard to functional units. Based on the obtained results, the average time of correct functioning and refreshment times and availability of particular tractor makes were determined. It was stated that the obtained empirical data of the correct functioning time and refreshment time may be well described with exponential functions. Significant differences in the values that determine the average time of correct functioning and duration time of refreshment obtained by tractors of the investigated makes were found. From among particular functional units, electric and hydraulic systems were the most often damaged, regardless the tractor make.

Abstract

Results of laboratory tests on the sowing quality of Vistula parsley seeds with a working section of a seed drill by Weremczuk company Max Pneumatic S 156 model with a pneumatic sowing system were presented. Tests of the sowing section of a seed drill were carried out in laboratory conditions on a special stand. They showed that the seed drill speed and rotations of the sowing disc have a significant impact on the sowing quality expressed with participation of single, double sowing and passes. The most favourable results at all set distances between seeds in a row were obtained with a seed drill speed of 1 km·h−1. On the other hand, the increase of the working speed of a seed drill and rotations of a sowing disc influenced significantly the deterioration of the sowing quality.

Abstract

The chaff quality or, more specifically, the distribution of stalk length after straw shredding during wheat harvest with a combined harvester is of significant interest for ploughless tillage practices. The currently applied characterization methods (manual length measurement or the cascade sieve analysis) are time-consuming and labour-intensive. Image analysis-based size characterization has the potential to solve these problems. In this study, two techniques of digital image processing, the well-known method of image moments (rectangular model) and a sub-pixel skeletonization approach (flow lines-tracing), were applied comparatively for stalk length measurement. Upon applying the rectangular model, the analyzed stalks were found to be longer than when the flow lines-tracing algorithm was applied. This was attributed to the unbiased decision criteria of the measuring method. A greater length of the stalk is to be expected in the main stalk than when the length of a twisted or branched stalk is measured from the edge length of a rectangular box that encloses it.