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Is it possible to control and optimize technology transfer process?

Abstract

Is it possible to control and optimize technology transfer process? Engineers and quality practitioners are often faced with the problem of determining the optimal choice of key factor in the tolerance process evaluation regarding the quality of the process to be monitored. To guarantee a prefixed quality level of the monitored process, lower specification limit (LSL) and upper specification limit (USL) for a certain quality characteristic have been determined. These limits, LSL and USL, could be defined as μ − δσ and μ + δσ, respectively, where δ > 0. Here, the key factor δ represents the number of standard deviations at which each specification limit is located from the process mean. This paper shows an innovative use of SPC tools in a different field aspect, one in which they are usually employed. Generally, these instruments are used for the control of the industrial process or service, but they could be used in an innovative way to control and to optimize a particular process: the technology transfer process. When determining the key factor level, it is important to consider a trade-off between costs incurred by the supplier, in terms of technology offer, and the user, in terms of technology request, of the process examined. This paper shows how these costs are quantified and integrated; it also shows how a particular mathematical tool, the Lambert W function, is incorporated into this choice optimization problem by deriving a closed-form solution. This proposed model and solution may be appealing to managers and technology transfer operators since the Lambert function is found in a number of standard optimization software. Experimental results are presented and related to a real data set of technology transfer actions developed by the Technology Transfer Office.