Essay on Materials Technology Corporation Case Analysis

4767 Words Jun 21st, 2010 20 Pages
I. Industry Context

Industry Overview

Industry Summary and Outlook

Ceramics Engineering-- the industry that Materials Technology Corporation, or "MTC" is a part of-- is a multi-billion dollar a year industry. Because ceramics can be manufactured to have unique combinations of strength, weight, thermal and magnetic conductivity, and deformability, they have countless uses in industries such as aerospace, biomedical, automotive, and electrical. With an unlimited number of such combinations, it is possible to create a material that exactly suits a given situation.

Because of the following combination of factors, there is generally "high demand and low supply" for engineered ceramics:

• low cost (once developed) and high
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MTC has planned to address some markets directly, then address others through joint venture partners or licensees. MTC's developed processes are classified into four "technology building blocks" that serve as platforms for multivariate products:

• Tape Casting Process Platform, the platform basis for substrate products; • Multi-Layer Process Platform, the platform basis for integrated circuit packages; • Quickset Molding Process Platform, the platform basis for sensors, rotors, and nozzles; • Fiber Process Platform, the platform basis for motion sensors and superconducting wire.

Challenges Faced by MTC

As MTC's strategy transitions away from research and process development to manufacturing, the company has a spectacular record for technological success and a reputation for creative solutions to materials needs. MTC enjoys customer loyalty advantages and learning curve advantages that are barriers to entry. Additionally, clients have historically borne R&D costs. However, the company does face several challenges:

1. Certain aspects of the production process are troublesome: either very slow (materials development stage), unpredictable in terms of timing (e.g., third phase); or high failure rate (60% between cycles). 2. There is a lack of a clear project selection process. 3.

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