The feasibility of single source strategic partnerships in relation to plant control networks

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dc.contributor.advisor Mr. C. Scheepers en
dc.contributor.author Willcock, Peter Richard
dc.date.accessioned 2010-10-04T08:02:29Z
dc.date.available 2010-10-04T08:02:29Z
dc.date.issued 2010-10-04T08:02:29Z
dc.date.submitted 2007-10
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/3423
dc.description M.Comm. en
dc.description.abstract The potential information available to managers through the management information system is considerably greater than a decade ago. Managers can through web portals view exactly where a product is in the manufacturing process anywhere in the world. The significant difference lies in how the information is passed from the control engineering layer to the business information layer. Substantial leaps forward have been achieved in the transparency of the various networks. In a manufacturing plant, information, right down to a pulse from the simplest sensor, can now immediately be shown to a user on the internet a thousand kilometres away. Making information from the factory floor available in real-time into the management system in the correct format, is not as simple as might appear. Over the past decade plant automation systems and business information systems have become more integrated than ever before. The organization’s management must make the correct, informed choice of networks for each application. Management must be aware of the various automation networks and their limitations. Management must also take cognisance of the possible compatibility issues associated with choices of networks and the associated automation equipment. Management needs to consider from whom and how to source the plant control networks. Supply chain management techniques have lead the trend in many industries to move to fewer, more strategic suppliers. The possibility of a single source strategic supplier relationship is investigated. The first part of research aims to determine whether a single supplier is a technically-sound solution. A number of automation networks are researched, their usability, industry support and future potential evaluated. iii These included various fieldbus networks and the newer reputedly more universal industrial Ethernets. The literature suggested that the solutions proposed by some of the major suppliers should be comprehensive. The research concurred that the offerings of two major worldwide automation suppliers were sufficiently all-inclusive. The second part of the research investigated whether strategic partnering is sound business practice. The customer to supplier relationship is examined. The advantage to both parties of pursuing a closer relationship is explored. The literature reported benefit and an increase in closer supplier partnering in other industries. The research confirmed that there was indeed benefit in a closer customer supplier relationship in the automation industry. The results of the literature study and the research conducted conclude that a single-vendor plant control network is feasible. Moreover entering a strategic partnership with a single automation supplier is best business practice. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Management information systems en
dc.subject Automation en
dc.title The feasibility of single source strategic partnerships in relation to plant control networks en
dc.type Thesis en

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