Ramp-Up Management (GRK 1491)

Background: Production Ramp-Up

The ramp-up of production for businesses in the automotive supplier industry takes on a key role in the life cycle of products: in this phase, the prototype of the design stage is further developed and prepared for serial production.

Currently, the ramp-up process is not adequately regulated; the realization of products under development is fraught with formidable difficulties. Therefore, the ramp-up represents a deciding factor which determines the success or failure of a particular product.

The decision-making skills of a manager are pivotal to a succesful ramp-up. The complexities of decision-making problems during production ramp-up involve:

  • Dynamics
  • Interdependence of a great number of design factors
  • Interdisciplinarity

Production Ramp-Up

Production ramp-up is the period between completion of the development process (including product approval) and full capacity utilization.


The problem of complexity in the decision making process cannot be adequately solved through a centralized approach: in an inductive and decentralized process, decisions on the various sub-processes are to be optimized while systems interdependencies are taken into account. In this way, the ramp-up process can be monitored, improved and led to success.

It is a goal of the research school to train young researchers in dealing with complex decision-making situations during production ramp-up. Our graduate students shall be provided with a better understanding of the basic processes which makes it possible for them to develop solution strategies in both academic and industrial contexts.

Research Approach

A decision model will be developed which takes into account the systems behavior of the ramp-up process in relation to all factors essential to decision making. Further, a set of criteria will be developed which will help systematically to make single decisions which are part of the overall process. The decision model will allow managers to anticipate problems in the ramp-up process on a meta-level and enable them proactively to develop solution strategies.

The graduate research school is characterized by its interdisciplinary approach to ramp-up management research. Special emphasis is placed on finding a suitable research methodology which as a standardized frame of reference must be considered a prerequisite for scientific progress.


Spokesperson for the Group is Professor Robert Schmitt from the Chair of Metrology and Quality Management at RWTH Aachen University.

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