New Product Development (NPD) in the commercial aerospace industry focuses on producing products, which reduce operating and service costs, emissions and weights, while increasing operating performance parameters. There is an increasing use of Composite materials in aerospace NPD projects to achieve these goals due to the advantageous properties of increased strength and reduced weight. A key constraint in developing Composite capability in aerospace NPD is the development of appropriate diagnostic and manufacturing capability requiring new knowledge within aerospace organisations. The aim of this paper is to explore the acquisition, embedding and use of new knowledge from multiple sources in Composites NPD using a case analysis of a leading international aerospace prime. In particular, the study focuses on the need for new diagnostic testing capabilities and knowledge within the Composites NPD process as a source of competitive advantage. Data sources include multi-level semi structured interviews (n=20) with internal and external stakeholders involved in the NPD process and focus groups (n=5) comprised of the Composites NPD team members. The findings show that in addition to traditional internal and external knowledge sources, out of sector knowledge (in this case from Healthcare Diagnostics) can be used to inform specialist NPD technologies. Furthermore, it is essential that knowledge from multiple sources is effectively integrated within the NPD process using a designated knowledge portal.
|Publication status||Published - May 2008|