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Strategic and operational capabilities in steel production: Product variety and performance
Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Material Science. Dalarna University, School of Technology and Business Studies, Materials Technology. Kungliga tekniska högskolan.
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Steel producers that employ niche market strategies are continuously seeking to reduce production cost while maintaining a diverse product mix. The business model is typically based on marketing of high–strength special or stainless steels. However, the desire to avoid direct cost competition is over time gradually leading towards increased product variety and smaller order volumes (tonnes per order) for each product. This thesis analyses how production cost is linked to product variety in steel strip production. Results are based on new models for assessment of opportunities for performance improvement in high product–variety steel production. The need for flexible production processes increases with increasing product variety. Operational capabilities linked to process flexibility determine the extent to which steel producers can eliminate in–process inventory and accomplish close coupling between process steps. Niche market producers that invest in process flexibility improvements can lower production costs both due to reduced work–in–process and lower energy consumption. An additional benefit is reduced environmental impact. The following problems are addressed: • Development of a method to assess the influence of product variety on performance in steel production. • Development of models of continuous casting and hot rolling that account for product variety and cost effects with consideration of varying degrees of process flexibility. • Development of a strategy process model that focus on the strategic value of operational capabilities related to process flexibility. Investments in operational capabilities regarding process flexibility have a strategic impact. An appreciation for the effects of process flexibility should permeate the organisation’s daily work since the accumulated contribution of many, seemingly unimportant, incremental changes significantly influences the strategic opportunities of the company.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2009.
Series
TRITA-IIP, ISSN 1650-1888
Keywords [en]
Steel production, system dynamics, product variety, production strategy, cost models
National Category
Materials Engineering
Research subject
Stålformning och ytteknik, Operativa strategier för förbättrad produktivitet vid tillverkning av rostfria band
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-4382OAI: oai:dalea.du.se:4382DiVA, id: diva2:523390
Available from: 2009-12-30 Created: 2009-12-30 Last updated: 2014-10-06Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • chicago-author-date
  • chicago-note-bibliography
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf