University of Oulu

Development of technological competitiveness by integrating instruments and automation in process machinery

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Author: Kauppinen, Sakari1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Technology, Department of Economics
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 5.5 MB)
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Language: English
Published: 1999
Publish Date: 1999-05-25
Thesis type: Doctoral Dissertation
Defence Note: Academic Dissertation to be presented with the assent of the Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu, for public discussion in Kuusamonsali (Auditorium YB 210), Linnanmaa, on June 23rd, 1999, at 12 noon.
Reviewer: Professor Timo Nyberg
Professor Josu Takala


The Finnish chemical forest industry has undergone a profound structural change over the past two decades. The basic industry is increasingly focusing its product development investments on its own products and operations while the development of processes and process machinery is left to specialised companies. At the same time the purchases of the pulp and paper industry are becoming larger: there is a shift from single device purchases to larger functional units.

This research studies the Finnish process machinery industry serving the needs of the pulp and paper industry and its product development environment and strategies, and evaluates the ability of selected case companies to design integrated process solutions. Particularly the role of measurement and automation technology in these solutions is under closer scrutiny. Aspects of product life cycles and technology management, together with various procedures and operating models for innovation and product development processes, are discussed on the basis of the literature. The empirical part of the research was carried out as a case study with several Finnish companies manufacturing machinery and equipment for the chemical forest industry.

The results show that the strategies of the studied industry are still very much dominated by the traditional emphasis on machinery design and construction. The change in the customers’ purchasing behaviour towards ever larger units and functions is reflected particularly as increasingly large delivery projects. The units required by the customers are put together in the project phase, using parts and components developed in isolation from each other. There is very little evidence of actual product development, design or producing of integrated process solutions. In those cases where the design work has explicitly aimed at an integrated functional unit, the result has been a process that the customer can easily purchase and where the supplier’s expertise in processes and process control is already included in the package.

Designing integrated process solutions takes more than technical expertise and capability: the strategy, organisation, and product development process of the supplier company must support the integration of different technologies and expertise areas in the product. Instead of the traditional serial product development it is imperative that the questions of process design, process machinery, and process control are treated and solved simultaneously. The in-house expertise and networking of research and development must be promoted in such a way that the capabilities necessary to include the required technologies and expertise areas in a product project are already available when the product is being specified and designed.

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Series: Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. C, Technica
ISSN-E: 1796-2226
ISBN: 951-42-5270-5
ISBN Print: 951-42-5269-1
Issue: 137
Copyright information: © University of Oulu, 1999. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.