Managing Automation Development Projects: A Comparison of Industrial Needs and Existing Theoretical Support

  • A. GranlundEmail author
  • M. Jackson
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering book series (LNME)


The use of automation can increase competitiveness but does not guarantee advantageous results. The right choice of technology and correct implementation and use is the key to a successful outcome. This in turn puts great demands on how automation development projects are managed. The aim of this paper is to make a comparison between industrial needs and existing theoretical support associated with managing automation development projects. Through a multiple case study, challenges and success factors related to managing automation projects have been identified. The empirical findings are compared with automation development support found in literature. The results from the empirical study indicate the need for improved process models and clear strategy connected to automation development. The importance of an overall view and planning during automation projects is highlighted as a success factor while difficulties in collaborating with third parties is identified as existing challenges. It is concluded that the support in literature deals with many of the identified challenges and success factors and offers some support for specific parts of the automation development project. There is however still need for an overall framework connecting existing theoretical support, and suggesting how strategy can be connected to the process of developing automation.



The research presented in this paper is carried out as part of an ongoing Swedish research project, Lean Automation Development funded by the FFI (Strategic Vehicle Research and Innovation) and VINNOVA. This project is a part of the XPRES environment at the department of Product Realisation at Mälardalen University. The authors would like to direct special thanks to the companies participating in the study for their time and effort in making this study possible.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Product RealisationMälardalen UniversityEskilstunaSweden

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