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Analysis of the opportunities to implement the BIZ-TRIZ mechanism

Abstract

Aiming to strengthen cooperation between scientific entities and enterprises and to overcome related obstacles, the authors propose to create a mechanism of incentives called BIZ-TRIZ, which is an abbreviation for “TRIZ for Business”. This mechanism is used to support cooperation between scientific entities and companies. Close cooperation is achieved by implementing R&D&I services, which is the responsibility of the scientific unit operating for the benefit of the companies involved. Research services are used together with the scientific instrument that reflects achievements in the modern theory of innovative problem solving (TRIZ). The analysis was made using the Maritime University of Szczecin and SME-type companies as an example. This paper describes the basic assumptions concerning the implementation of the BIZ-TRIZ mechanism. Also, it presents the use of SWOT analysis, needs/stakeholder analysis and risk analysis for the implementation of the BIZ-TRIZ mechanism. The paper describes preventative actions for the most important implementation risks and discusses the results of the analyses. Finally, it introduces the main conclusions regarding the purpose of implementing the BIZ-TRIZ mechanism.

Open access
Fourth industrial revolution: a way forward to attain better performance in the textile industry

Abstract

The textile industry is one of the fastest growing industries which expressively contributes to the economic growth of Malaysia. However, in recent years, the situation has changed and demonstrates a downward trend. The imports are growing faster compared to the exports, consequently resulting in a low contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP). To address the issue, this study aims to investigate the role of Industry 4.0 on the performance of firms engaged in the production and services of the Malaysian textile industry. To achieve the objective, this study adopted a cross-sectional research design. A survey was carried out to collect data from employees of textile firms. Results of the study found that Industry 4.0 positively contributed to the effectiveness of the production and services of the textile industry. Production and services have a positive role in the performance of textile firms. The current study provides an interesting insight into the future direction of research for studies on organisational performance, which can be extended to different manufacturing-based industries. In addition, it provides the rationale for the adoption and implementation of smart technologies in these industries. It has been found that cyber-physical systems (CPS), interoperability, a smart city and a smart product have a positive effect on production and services. Additionally, it is not possible without the effective implementation of technology. Thus, the current study provides valuable insights into the improvement of the textile industry’s performance.

Open access
Gerontechnology — the assessment of one selected technology improving the quality of life of older adults

Abstract

Older adults experience difficulties in their daily lives as their health deteriorates. Gerontechnology (the compilation of terms “gerontology” and “technology”) helps in the resolution of problems faced by older adults by improving their quality of life and, above all, developing tools to facilitate the access of older adults to all goods, services and infrastructure, which is also the understanding of the term used in this paper. The article mainly aimed to assess the selected gerontechnology that improved the quality of life of older adults in terms of different criteria, namely, innovation, demand, socioethics, usability, and functionality. It also analysed whether the respondent's age and gender had any influence on the assessment. Care robots were chosen from among the variety of gerontechnologies. The survey was conducted in the first quarter of 2018 and involved 643 people from different voivodships of Poland. Two types of questionnaires were designed. The electronic form of the survey was distributed using social media and snowball techniques, and the paper form was sent by traditional post to all nursing homes in Poland.

Open access
Identification of prospective industrial clusters in Slovakia

Abstract

Clusters became an integral part of regional policies intended to build and strengthen competitive advantages within specifically identified geographical areas. They are still considered crucial for economic development and employment, although their orientation has slightly changed as the distance and geographical boundaries lost their importance. This article analyses crucial regional data that indicates potentially beneficial economic concentrations as an assumption for the preparation of prospective clusters in Slovakia. Potential clusters were identified based on significant employment concentrations of particular regional industries that appear extraordinary when compared with national employment and the dynamic development within the selected time frame. Prospective clusters were identified, and opportunities of their development were described, including the harmonisation with the current regional and urban strategy. Analysing absolute and relative quantities in employment, sections and divisions of SK NACE were used for the proper identification of industries. The location quotient served as a tool for the spatial concentration of employment in the Banská Bystrica region, the threshold value for the selection of cluster candidates was set to 2. The shift–share analysis was used for the identification of long-term changes in employment, and 10% of the most dynamic industries were presented at the level of divisions once and then, at the level of sections of SK NACE. Forestry and logging, the manufacture of wood products and the manufacture of basic metals were confirmed by both methods as significant concentrations. The result partially corresponded with the previously active and currently inactive cluster in Banská Bystrica, which was focused on mechanical engineering, still significant when considering numbers of companies and employees as well as sales. Forestry was the most concentrated industry, while the wholesale and retail trades were the most dynamic. Forestry, logging and manufacture of wood products might be strongly interlinked with the current entrepreneurial and social strategy of self-governing regions that is still at the stage of potential cluster identification and fitting to its priorities. The article assumed basic quantitative methods utilised for the identification of prospective clusters. It confirmed the practicality of their application, the gravity of data processing and also certain possible limitations due to the extraordinary focus on the employment concentration. According to the analysis and gained results, the former cluster in the Banská Bystrica region was confirmed as the potentially significant actor in the regional policy (although, currently, having no industrial or public interest) and the new cluster candidates were identified. Outcomes indicated the need to continue the research with a more detailed examination of qualitative aspects that could complete the effort by focusing on clusters not only having higher employment statistics but also the support from regional institutions, also reflecting the preferences of businesses.

Open access
Influence of Modern Process Performance Indicators on Corporate Performance — the Empirical Study

Abstract

The increasing pressure of globalisation on the worldwide market has forced enterprises to shift their focus from product quality to effectiveness of internal business processes. The object of interest of this paper is a modern management approach based on corporate performance evaluation by measuring the performance of internal processes. The paper aims to prove that the use of modern indicators and the measurement of internal processes belong among factors that have a direct positive impact on corporate performance. To reach the aim, empirical primary research was carried out. The paper focused on research results regarding the use of modern indicators for the measurement of business processes in Slovak industrial enterprises from selected branches. The primary quantitative research was conducted using questionnaires. The research aimed to test the hypothesis stating that enterprises using modern indicators to measure process performance have been reaching more positive ROE values, representing a basic indicator of corporate performance. Dependences among the data selected from the empirical research were analysed using statistical methods, namely, the chi-squared test, T-test and the correlation analysis. Based on the statistically processed data, the authors concluded that business processes are a basic source for the evaluation of corporate performance. Higher ROE values can be reached using modern process indicators, especially in mass production enterprises. The paper contributed to the further development of knowledge in performance management, specifically, process-oriented management.

Open access
MCDM, operational research and sustainable development in the trans-border Lithuanian–German– Polish co-operation

Abstract

The article presents a description of scientific achievements concerning Multiple-Criteria Decision-Making (MCDM) methods attained as part of the cooperation between scientific centres of Lithuania, Germany and Poland with a special emphasis on the input by Professor Edmundas K. Zavadskas and his scientific school. The cooperation, which commenced in 1986, focused on “Colloquia” — the systematic, international scientific seminars. The article aimed to summarise and popularise the achievement of these “Colloquia” in the area of MCDM as well as spotlight the outstanding theoretical and application significance of accomplishments by Prof. Zavadskas. Also, the work presents the most recent MCDM methods developed by Prof. Zavadskas that improve the accuracy of calculations and extend the area of their application.

Open access
Performance of an automated process model discovery – the logistics process of a manufacturing company

Abstract

The simulation and modelling paradigms have significantly shifted in recent years under the influence of the Industry 4.0 concept. There is a requirement for a much higher level of detail and a lower level of abstraction within the simulation of a modelled system that continuously develops. Consequently, higher demands are placed on the construction of automated process models. Such a possibility is provided by automated process discovery techniques. Thus, the paper aims to investigate the performance of automated process discovery techniques within the controlled environment. The presented paper aims to benchmark the automated discovery techniques regarding realistic simulation models within the controlled environment and, more specifically, the logistics process of a manufacturing company. The study is based on a hybrid simulation of logistics in a manufacturing company that implemented the AnyLogic framework. The hybrid simulation is modelled using the BPMN notation using BIMP, the business process modelling software, to acquire data in the form of event logs. Next, five chosen automated process discovery techniques are applied to the event logs, and the results are evaluated. Based on the evaluation of benchmark results received using the chosen discovery algorithms, it is evident that the discovery algorithms have a better overall performance using more extensive event logs both in terms of fitness and precision. Nevertheless, the discovery techniques perform better in the case of smaller data sets, with less complex process models. Typically, automated discovery techniques have to address scalability issues due to the high amount of data present in the logs. However, as demonstrated, the process discovery techniques can also encounter issues of opposite nature. While discovery techniques typically have to address scalability issues due to large datasets, in the case of companies with long delivery cycles, long processing times and parallel production, which is common for the industrial sector, they have to address issues with incompleteness and lack of information in datasets. The management of business companies is becoming essential for companies to stay competitive through efficiency. The issues encountered within the simulation model will be amplified through both vertical and horizontal integration of the supply chain within the Industry 4.0. The impact of vertical integration in the BPMN model and the chosen case identifier is demonstrated. Without the assumption of smart manufacturing, it would be impossible to use a single case identifier throughout the entire simulation. The entire process would have to be divided into several subprocesses.

Open access
Reduction of defects in the lapping process of the silicon wafer manufacturing: the Six Sigma application

Abstract

Aiming to reduce flatness (Total Thickness Variation, TTV) defects in the lapping process of the silicon wafer manufacturing, it is crucial to understand and eliminate the root cause(s). Financial losses resulting from TTV defects make the lapping process unsustainable. DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyse, Improve and Control), which is a Six Sigma methodology, was implemented to improve the quality of the silicon wafer manufacturing process. The study design and the choice of procedures were contingent on customer requirements and customised to ensure maximum satisfaction; which is the underlying principle of the rigorous, statistical technique of Six Sigma. Previously unknown causes of high TTV reject rates were identified, and a massive reduction in the TTV reject rate was achieved (from 4.43% to 0.02%). Also, the lapping process capability (Ppk) increased to 3.87 (beyond the required standard of 1.67), suggesting sustainable long-term stability. Control procedures were also effectively implemented using the techniques of poka yoke and control charts. This paper explores the utility of Six Sigma, a quality management technique, to improve the quality of a process used in the semiconductor industry. The application of the Six Sigma methodology in the current project provides an example of the root cause investigation methodology that can be adopted for similar processes or industries. Some of the statistical tools and techniques were used for the first time in this project, thereby providing new analysis and quality improvement platform for the future. The article offers a deeper understanding of the factors that impact on the silicon wafer flatness in the lapping process. It also highlights the benefits of using a structured problem-solving methodology like Six Sigma.

Open access
Smart city concept in the light of the literature review

Abstract

Nowadays, the transformations of metropolises into smart cities is a crucial factor in improving the living conditions of the inhabitants. The goal of the smart city concept is modern urban management using technical tools that offer state-of-the-art technologies, considering the applicable ecological standards while saving resources and achieving the expected results. The purpose of this article is to identify the areas of research analysed in the international literature in the field of smart cities. The bibliometric analysis was carried out to achieve the purpose. The analysis covered publications on smart cities published in Scopus and Web of Science databases from January 2009 to May 2019. Based on the bibliometric analysis, a bibliometric map was developed using the mapping technique VOS — the visualisation of similarities. Original clusters were created using the VOSviewer software. The bibliometric map visualises the results of the analysis that targeted the word coexistence.

Open access
An analysis into early customer experiences of self-service checkouts: Lessons for improved usability

Abstract

The research aims to examine the perceptions of relative novice users of self-service checkouts (SSCOs) and if these perceptions change before, during and following use. Employing a diary approach with 31 respondents relatively unfamiliar with SSCOs, the research will document their experiences with this technology across stationary, hardware and grocery stores in two Scottish cities (Glasgow and Dundee). Findings suggest that the majority of respondents were motivated to use the technology because of time saving and convenience. However, the actual experience of using SSCOs was not always considered quicker when compared to staffed checkouts because of technical issues, lack of staff assistance and the impersonal, sometimes stressful and controlled nature of the cramped SSCO environment. Following post-use reflections, the majority of respondents’ opinions did not change from their initial perceptions and indicated that they would prefer not to use the technology in the future. Based on the findings, this study makes some practical suggestions centring on the design and usability of SSCOs, which may go some way to reducing customer dissatisfaction and frustration with the technology, especially from the perspective of new users of the technology.

Open access