The overall purpose of the thesis is to explore the role of learning in production improvement work.
The research questions are:
How does learning in production relate to investments in new machinery for existing processes and new processes?
How is learning in production related to using production improvement methods?
The answer to the first question is that regardless if the investment is in machinery for existing processes or new processes, learning plays an important role, both in the specification phase and in the production phase. In the specification/purchasing phase learning will lead to a better ability to specify the process equipment and to evaluate different supplier proposals. In the production phase learning can positively affect both the availability and the pace of the production process.
The findings concerning the second question is that to be able to use improvement methods they have to be learned, and by using the methods you learn. The methods facilitate learning. It is possible to learn and improve without methods but it is not possible to use improvement methods without learning them. The ability (and willingness) to learn is more fundamental than improvement methods. Therefore production improvement projects depend more on learning ability than on improvement methods.
When improving a production system investment in equipment and improvement methods are important. But there is a common decisive factor for both investments in equipment and improvement methods and that is the ability to learn.
Linköping: Linköpings universitet , 2007. , 31 p.