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The author describes the predicament of an industry which is coming under increasing pressure in the world market and is seeking new approaches to the challenges arising. Then, by drawing an analogy to the paradigm shift taking place in the natural sciences, he discerns the need for product engineering to similarly cast aside existing deterministic philosophies. Self-similarity, self-organization and dynamics are the principles from which the manufacturing corporation of the future, perceiving its identity as a service enterprise, will draw its models. Constant structural development and the maximum exploitation of staff potential will provide new ways of utilizing one's own strengths to best advantage. This insight creates a long-term perspective for retaining competitiveness in the twenty-first century.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

1. Survival in a Turbulent Environment

Abstract
There is no denying that uncertainty is currently running high in the business community, whilst the economic situation is sending shivers of disquiet through the public at large.
Hans-Jürgen Warnecke

2. Manufacturing — Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Abstract
In 1790, Johann Beckmann, who taught economics in Göttingen, first used the term “technology” to denote a comprehensive description of the science of manufacturing processes in the various trades, the ‘useful arts’. He laid down his thoughts in the work, ‘Guideline to Technology or On the Science of Crafts, Factories and Manufactories, primarily those directly concerned with Agriculture, Policing and Cameral Science’.
Hans-Jürgen Warnecke

3. Organizational Design — a Key Component of Strategy

Abstract
A fundamental requirement for a company aiming for long-term success in a complex theatre of operations is a suitable strategy. In keeping with its martial origin, strategy, originally a term for the art of military leadership, can be applied to business life to denote the application of rules with the prime objective of increasing the probability of a desired result. This usually means ensuring the long-term survival of the organization. Determining which correct and well-informed decisions are to be taken is the object of strategic planning, for which four basic functions can be identified:
The performance function aims to ensure a greater degree of goal attainment and a more efficient use of human effort or of scarce resources. The innovation function is concerned with changes in thought content, behavior patterns or things. The coordination of materially and chronologically interdependent individual decisions takes place within the framework of the coordination function. Finally, the motivation function is concerned with obtaining the consensus of all participants on the contents of planning.
Hans-Jürgen Warnecke

4. The Fractal Factory — an Integrating Approach

Abstract
Really new ideas open the way for new potential solutions, but they also create new problems. We are not afraid of this; if you do not move, you can not move anything else. And we have shown in detail that we must all move. We therefore have to reach out beyond the limits of our previous notions of engineering science into the complex and fascinating world of fractals. We can adapt their characteristics and potentials to the subject of our discourse: the factory with a future.
Hans-Jürgen Warnecke

5. A Glance into the Future

Abstract
No doubt a great deal of work needs to be done to develop the instrument set we need for the Fractal Factory. But a start has been made. Direct horizontal communication will become more important than the vertical flow of information. The transformation of a function-oriented, vertically structured organization into a process-oriented, horizontally structured one, tilting it, as it were, through ninety degrees — accompanied by a simultaneous change in management methods in the interests of decentralization and of procedures in the interests of integration — will demand courage and effort. Even when the need has been identified, it is still a big step to put it into practice. There are not yet enough demonstrative examples for us to be sure of the way. And the task is so complex that each factory must find its own way, whereas in such a situation the way itself is in fact the objective.
Hans-Jürgen Warnecke

Backmatter

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