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Customer-oriented design of on-site assembly processes

Improvement of operating performances of smes which produce
special machinery and equipment, regarding assembly of their
special machines and devices at customer sites through
international cooperation among smes and institutions.

The production of special machinery and industrial equipment now represents a growing niche market. Small and medium-sized European enterprises (SMEs) are increasingly involved in manufacturing of special machinery and equipment due to their specialized expertise and flexibility. These companies often face problems related to erection, assembly, installation and commissioning of their special machinery and devices, which have to be performed at customer sites which are often also abroad. The current situation reflects the fact that SMEs' lack of practical solutions to efficiently manage assembly-related topics. The experience of SMEs indicate that customer site assembly represents a great potential for improvement to the competitiveness of a company. Nor is this only limited to internal performance but it also has a broader influence on market shares on the global market and thus influences work and social security. An investigation carried out on a sample of European SME companies shows that the process of globalization might bring benefits. About half the interviewed companies are already involved in cooperation with one or several partners. The problem is that contents of possible cooperation are not consistently defined and the international cooperation is not adequately strategically planned. 'Cooperation brings more presence at lower costs' is a fact highlighted by the investigation. The main problems of SMEs, which mainly produce special machines, one-of-a-kind devices and equipment, are: - inadequate planning of cost-intensive, customer-site assembly of systems, - inefficient organization and logistics of the on-site assembly - lack of corresponding support for the overall design of assembly processes. Several German and European SMEs have confirmed this cognition in the research done during the preparation of this proposal. Keywords: assembly processes, in-house assembly, on-site assembly, construction-site assembly.
Acronym: 
COSAP
Project ID: 
2 612
Start date: 
01-08-2001
Project Duration: 
35months
Project costs: 
3 800 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Apparatus Engineering
Market Area: 

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.