Identification of barriers in the implementation of AMTs in the SMEs of northern India using AHP–TOPSIS approach

Date27 November 2019
Published date27 November 2019
AuthorArishu Kaushik,Doordarshi Singh
Subject MatterPublic policy & environmental management,Environmental technology & innovation
Identification of barriers in the
implementation of AMTs in the
SMEs of northern India using
AHPTOPSIS approach
Arishu Kaushik
Department of Mechanical Engineering, IKGPTU, Kapurthala, India, and
Doordarshi Singh
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Engineering College, Fatehgarh Sahib, India
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to find out and highlight the major influential barriers in the
implementation of advanced manufacturing technologies (AMTs) in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) of
Northern India. The major barriers in the implementation of AMTs in manufacturing industries of Northern
India have been critically assessed in this paper.
Design/methodology/approach An ample and reasonable number of small- and medium-scale
manufacturing industries of northern India have been surveyed with an aim to find out the barriers in the
implementation of AMTs. On the basis of data collected, AHPTOPSIS method was applied in order to
measure the weightage of each barrier in a simple mathematical form.
Findings High cost of AMTs, lack of appropriate financial resources and current processes or procedures
are the major barriers that cause hindrance in the path of implementation of AMTs in SMEs.
Research limitations/implications This investigation was based on the survey followed by judgments
of experts in industry and academia; other approaches such as PROMETHEE, WPM, VIKOR, etc., can be
applied for investigation. Also, the study can be carried out in different region(s) and parts of the country.
Practical implications This paper can be helpful in many ways to the management or industrialists of
various nations who are on the same path or will follow soon.
Originality/value SMEs need to address the findings of this research in order to overcome the barriers
and successfully implement the AMTs. A model for successful implementation of AMTs by overcoming the
barriers has been suggested.
Keywords Business improvement, Small and medium enterprises (SMEs),
Advanced manufacturing technologies (AMTs), Barriers in implementation of AMTs
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
Small and mediumenterprises (SMEs), usuallystated as engine of growth, play a noticeable
role in fulfilling the major requirements, economy, development and employment for the
people. The role of manufacturing enterprises is quite inevitable due to the production of
goods and satisfying our needs. Also, they are the spine of present economies due to their
contribution towards the global market with respect to imports and exports.
Past few decades have seen tremendous changes throughout the globe, whether in terms
of the choices and variety available or in terms of quality or availability. With the changing
demands and requirements of the society, they must respond quickly in order to sustain and
meet the needs. There arises a need of such technologies that can meet these types of
requirements. Advanced manufacturing technologies (AMTs) provide just not a ray of hope,
but a path to tackle such turbulences in the market scenes. They have indisputably proved
helpful in increasing flexibility, enhancing performance, improving quality and increasing
production with their implementation in SMEs.
World Journal of Science,
Technology and Sustainable
Vol. 17 No. 2, 2020
pp. 200-223
© Emerald PublishingLimited
DOI 10.1108/WJSTSD-09-2019-0065
Received 8 September 2019
Revised 18 October 2019
Accepted 25 October 2019
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
The authors are thankful to IKGPTU Kapurthala (Punjab) India for their support.
AMTs make use of computers to support, control and assist in various fields and
dimensions. They include various technologies such as computer numerical control (CNC),
flexible manufacturing system, robotics, computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), computer-aided
process planning, computer-integrated manufacturing, computer-aided design (CAD) and
engineering systems, production planning, routing, control and integration, scheduling, material
resource management, automated guided vehicles (AGVs), etc.
AMTs have indisputably proved to be significant in improving the flexibility, green
standards, productivity, quality and profit of SMEs. This research discloses the various
barriers in implementation of AMTs in SMEs of northIndia. It also aims to help management
and entrepreneursto take a closer and detailed look at various barriers in the implementation
of AMTs, so that these can be dealt or tackled in a better way.
2. Literature review
2.1 Small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
SMEs play an important role in the economic progress of a country by providing a high rate
of employment at a low capital cost (Chou et al., 2005; Husband and Mandal, 1999). The
number of employees serves as the basis of classification of SMEs in most of the countries.
But in some developing countries like India, SMEs are classified on the basis of investments
in plant and machinery (Hooi, 2006). Rendering to the said criteria, the Ministry of MSME
(Govt. of India) has classified the SMEs. If the investment in plant and machinery is more
than 2.5m (25 lakh rupees), but does not exceed 50m (5 crore rupees), then the industries fall
in the category of small enterprises. If the investment in plant and machinery is more than
50m (5 crore rupees) but does not exceed 0.1bn (10 crore rupees), then the industries fall in
the category of medium enterprises. Smit and Watkins (2012) stated that SMEs stand
dominant in terms of number in most of the countries. SMEs stand second in case of the
largest workforce after agriculture in India. Caldera et al. stressed that SMEs are leading the
worlds economy. They have been known for their major contribution in helping sustainable
and equitable social development. SMEs not only create employment but also absorb
retrenched people coming from other sectors also.
Joyce et al.; Moore; and Rothwell (1991) recommended that SMEs can achieve goals by
innovation activities. They also highlighted the contribution of SMEs towards the country
for its economic progression and employment. Also, the SME sector contributes highly for
export of goods and industrial production for the country. With the change in scenario, high
quality at low cost is just not a solution to guarantee the success of an organization. SMEs
must upgrade themselves to face these challenges.
Industries have to concentrate on flexibility to achieve goals and survive in this
environment (Tahriri et al., 2015). To tackle these multiple challenges simultaneously, the
SMEs must concentrate on implementation of AMTs (Kirk, 1998; Power and Simon, 2004).
Increased competitiveness, high rate of production, flexibility, better quality, information
processing capability and innovation have pushed the SMEs to implement AMTs.
2.2 Advanced manufacturing technology (AMT)
The requirement of producing goods of better quality, lower operating cost, improved
manufacturing efficiency, flexibility, higher production and higher productivity has made it
necessary for a large number of manufacturing organizations to upgrade themselves and
implementAMTs in order to meet these requirements.Computers being used in AMTs help in
making of products (Svobodova, 2011). Both information and manufacturing AMTs
collectively assistin manufacturing and the entire business operations. Thus, while assisting
in manufacturing, it also comes up with a complete solution to the challenges faced by the
management in meeting the requirements. Computers assist to save, manipulate and store
data at several levels in manufacturing organizations (Dangayach and Deshmukh, 2005).
of barriers

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