Technology development and concepts

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Technology development and concepts Ulf Högman


Structure of presentationDiscussion regarding technology and its development Examples from VAC on technology development in practice Experience from applying a normative stage-gate model to technology developmentFlygteknik 2010


The relation between innovation and technology”Innovations are the outcome of the innovation process, which can be defined as the combined activities leading to new, marketable products and services and/or new production and delivery systems.” ”Technology refers to the theoretical and practical knowledge, skills, and artefacts that can be used to develop products and services as well as their production and delivery systems. Technology can be embodied in people, materials, cognitive and physical processes, plant, equipment, and tools.” (Burgelman, R.A.,, ”Strategic Management of Technology and Innovation”, 2004, Ed.4, pg.4) Flygteknik 2010


Technology developmentFlygteknik 2010(Adapted from Martin Karlsson, 2004) (From Wheelwright and Clark, 1992, and Aalto et al, 2003)


Examples of models and perspectives from Engineering DesignFlygteknik 2010Domains in Axiomatic design (Suh, 1990). Notice the zigzaggingFunction-means tree (from Svendsen and Hansen, 1993)Generic product development process (from Ulrich and Eppinger, 2000)


Total lead time [years] from idea to productFlygteknik 2010RQ1: What is the time duration of the R&D process for different innovations and companies in differentiating industries?


Flygteknik 2010Lead-time [years] for the software casesLead-time [years] for the hardware casesLead time of different development stagesRQ1: What is the time duration of the R&D process for different innovations and companies in differentiating industries?


Systems Engineering at NASA NASA Systems Engineering Handbook, SP-2007-610S, p.296Flygteknik 2010”It is impossible to understand the magnitude and scope of a development program without having a clear understanding of the baseline technological maturity of all elements of the system.”


Case: Sandwich in rocket engine nozzlesFlygteknik 2010Behovet 1996: “Hitta en lösning för att reducera tillverknings-kostnaden för munstycken med 50%, utan att för den skull försämra produktegenskaperna.”


Case: Sandwich in rocket engine nozzles


The technology treeFlygteknik 2010Resulting technology treesTimeConceptsNeedVision


The Spiral ModelFlygteknik 2010From ”A spiral model of software development and enhancement” , Barry W. Boehm, 1988


How to manage uncertainty?Flygteknik 2010Technology uncertainty increasesWays to cope with uncertainty: Technology and product roadmapping Product and technology platforms Managed transititions across R&D phases Implementing R&D as process Using early prototypes, testing Freezing the design late Enhancing flexibility Increasing design cycles Increasing communication(From Kähkönen et al., 2006, based on project categorization of Wheelwright and Clark, 1992)


Synchronizing technology and product development at VACFlygteknik 2010Dedicated stage-gate model for product development. Dedicated stage-gate model for technology development based on the NASA TRL scale. In operation the two models overlap. Rule of thumb to have reached TRL 6 prior to entry into ”Preliminary Design” in product development.


Flygteknik 2010TRL review at Gate XIn principle the same questions are asked at all gates but…… quality and detail in the answer is expected to increase for every step.


Follow individual technologies based on the TRL scaleFlygteknik 2010The list of needed new technologies change over time with regard to What technologies to pursue TRL-status per technology The model is used recursively to build the technology tree.


Some experience from use so farFlygteknik 2010Day month yearIn general, the projects have been quite satisfied with the model, even though improvements can be made. Advantages Achieved results and challenges explicitly expressed and adjustments to meet product/process plans can be made pro-actively. Clear structure makes it possible to better link to overall strategies and adapt to changing circumstances. Disadvantages Risk of burdening projects with too much administration. A reasonable balance has to be found.


Flygteknik 2010Thank You for your attention and welcome to


Technology Readiness LevelsSubjectDay month yearFrom ”Technology Readiness Levels”, John C. Mankins, 1995, Advanced Concepts Office, Office of Space Access and Technology, NASA, a white paper

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Last Updated: 8th March 2018

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