GLOBEMAN 21 attempted to determine the viability of international cooperation in R&D. On the assumption that such collaboration was viable then an assessment was made as to the mechanisms that would be necessary to facilitate a full scale IMS Programme.
In order to test these concepts a vehicle associated with global manufacturing i.e. inter-enterprise working across the globe, was proposed.
As a result of the changing world business environment and customer demands, we perceived that the production system required for the manufacturing industries in the 21st century would have two important features:
- variable-kind variable-lot production adjusted to the market
- global product manufacturing that combines production activities localised in individual geographic areas.
In order to avoid a tranditional analytical approach, i.e. by market sector, a division of manufacturing enterprises based on manufacturing volumes was conceived. This approach put together industries and regions who would not normally have cooperated but where similar managerial solutions are to be found, thus testing both environmental and cultural differences.
GLOBEMAN 21 successfully demonstrated the ability of organisations from a wide range of cultural and geographical backgrounds to work together and also produced a substantial set of data in terms of the industrial requirements that, if put into practice, would ensure manufacturing competitiveness well into the next century. Furthermore, GLOBEMAN 21 demonstrated that the genericity of IT requirements across various different industrial sectors was surprisingly high, almost irrespective of the manufacturing volume of the organisations in question.
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