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Content archived on 2024-05-28

FOrecast and Roadmapping for MAnufacturing Technologies

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Knowing the future of manufacturing and industrial processes is possible

An EU team has developed new processes and tools for forecasting changes in technology. The new Stage-Gate approach anticipates future manufacturing needs and related technological solutions.

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Companies commonly wish to predict the future of technological changes, to support decisions about investments or research. Although certain established techniques theoretically make such forecasting possible, in practice all such methods exhibit weaknesses. The EU-funded FORMAT (Forecast and roadmapping for manufacturing technologies) project developed and validated a new methodology to support strategic decisions in industrial research and development by anticipating future manufacturing products and processes. The effectiveness of the FORMAT methodology was evaluated and proven in several industrial contexts, including the household appliance sector. The new Stage-Gate approach, efficient and user-friendly, was based on a combination of existing methods. The result appeared familiar to industrial users. The methodology included four stages, named: FORmulate, Model, Act, and Transfer. Each of them has a proper and precise aim: objective setting, collation of current knowledge, generation of new knowledge and transfer to users. The FORMAT researchers have detailed the methods in a handbook suitable for self-training available on the project web site. The resource includes examples and case studies, which have been also presented on the project website. The outcomes may assist companies with technological prediction and goal setting.

Keywords

Manufacturing, technology forecasting, trend extrapolation, FORMAT, roadmapping, industrial processes

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