Australian technology meets American manufacturing: A case study of industrial collaboration

Patrick Mark Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article examines some of the issues that surround the development and application of Australian computer software in the collaborative design of cellular manufacturing operations in an American manufacturing operation. In examining the dynamic relationship between a national research-based organization and a multinational corporation, a detailed case study is presented of the collaborative venture between the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the Boeing Commercial Airplane Group. In 1988, the Wichita Division of Boeing applied Group Technology (GT) classification and coding to create a GT data base for 200,000 sheet metal parts. However, their aim to implement cellular work arrangements was constrained by the complexity of the manufacturing environment. In 1990, they became aware of some innovative cell-build software that had been developed in Australia. After some preliminary negotiations, a collaborative contract was signed between the CSIRO and Boeing. In charting the development of this joint project and consequent outcomes, the article draws out new insights on the practice of industrial collaboration in the development and implementation of cellular forms of work organization. © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-123
JournalHuman Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1998


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