Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering


Engineering, Industrial.




Inadequacies of conventional investment justification methodologies in Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMT) cases are well known. The inadequacies mainly stem from exclusion of qualitative and "intangible" factors when evaluating AMT investment proposals. To address the problem, a framework of AMT planning and justification is presented in this paper. The framework takes a 'backcast' approach, in which the AMT acquisition is modelled as an essential effort in a process of building manufacturing capabilities for a firm's long term competitiveness positioning. The intangible benefits associated with AMT acquisitions are explicitly considered and modelled as a set of manufacturing capability measures. Non-financial, or activity-based performance measures are adapted. Planning of AMT acquisition is modelled as a "backcast" process consisting of identification of capability upgrading needs, or 'capability gaps', in manufacturing bases, with respect to manufacturing strategic objectives, and selection of appropriate AMT programs to close the gaps. Selection and justification of AMT program alternatives is modelled as a multiple criteria decision making process. Factors of actual concern may be firm-specific. The range of factors considered in this paper includes level of capability upgrade (% of gap closure), demand on strategic resources in terms of financial constraint, implementation time and learning period, and compatibility of AMT candidates to a firm's organizational infrastructure. Quantitative evaluation of subjective factors are attempted by Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and fuzzy set methods. Multiple criteria decision making is modelled by the Compromise Programming approach. The framework enables decision making on AMT investment to be based on integrated programs rather than isolated projects. Implementation of the framework is shown to be based on activity-based performance measures in a firm.Dept. of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1995 .L68. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 34-02, page: 0845. Thesis (M.A.Sc.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1995.