Using the lamination process in the high-functionality textile industry this paper investigates the development of an approach for technology and supplier selection based on twelve factors affecting manufacturing technology selection with respect to the supply chain. In many manufacturing industries, technology selection still represents a challenging and not fully understood area especially when it comes to choosing between competing technologies with similar levels of performance. The methodology employed identified two competing lamination technologies with high levels of development and mechanization: full lamination/solvent type and dot lamination/solvent free. This was followed by the identification of multiple factors affecting manufacturing technology selection with respect to the supply chain, the use of Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) techniques and a case study involving site visits and interviews with senior management of a company operating in the high-functionality textiles industry. The analysis of empirical data gathered from the case study revealed how supply chain-related factors are more important than those directly related to the technical merit of the technology such as low cost manufacturing or automation. The proposed approach has the potential to be transferable to other industries using lamination processes and/or advanced fiber and fabric technology.
- technology selection
- supplier selection
- AHP techniques
- supply chain
- high-functionality textile industry