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International product transfer and production ramp‐up: a case study from the data storage industry

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Abstract:

Many high‐tech industries are shifting their focus from minimizing time‐to‐market to minimizing time‐to‐volume. This puts the tail end of product development, the production ramp‐up, in a critical position. This article presents a case study of product transfer and production ramp‐up in the hard disk drive industry. We provide a detailed description of the ramp‐up period. By documenting detailed time‐series of several operational measures, we also shed light on the various forces that allow an organization to increase its production volume. Finally, the setting allows us to study product transfer from development in the USA to an Asian production facility. We find that the physical distance is successfully overcome by several mechanisms.

Document Type: Original Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9310.00230

Affiliations: 1: The Wharton School, Department of Operations and Information Management, 1319 Steinberg Hall – Dietrich Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19104.6366, USA, 2: Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California San Diego, USA, 3: Sun Microsystems, 3571 Lemona Ave., San Diego, CA 92105, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2001

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