The primitive interpretation of design in the Argentinian helicopter factory Cicaré S.A. (1956-2015)
La interpretación primitiva del diseño en la fábrica argentina de helicópteros Cicaré S.A. (1956-2015);
A interpretação primitiva do desenho na fábrica argentina de helicópteros Cicaré S.A. (1956-2015)
AbstractThe technological knowledge generated by a company can be defined as the set of information coming from the design, analysis, construction and testing of its technological products, innovations, and processes (McGinn, 1991). This type of knowledge entails characteristics that make it difficult to be preserved and transmitted, particularly due to its high tacit component (Polanyi, 1966). For this reason, it is important to investigate the characteristics of this class of knowledge in order to facilitate its creation, management, conservation, and transmission. Therefore, the objective of this study is to identify the work methodology of activities associated with the design and manufacturing of helicopters, as well as the knowledge management generated and its evolution path over time in a company selected as case study. The practices and roles played by each of the actors within the company are also significant aspects to be considered. The technical analysis of all the helicopters developed by the company Cicaré S.A. has been used as source of information; although, in particular, there are not available records of this company’s activities or financial statements over time. Interviews with people related to the current firm and its history have been fundamental. Cicaré s.a. is an Argentinian aeronautical company working in the development and manufacturing of internationally recognized helicopters. It is considered a benchmark in the industry for the innovations it has developed on this type of aircraft, which are used today throughout the world. The first vertical flight in South America, the development of one of the first ultralight helicopters and a real controlled flight simulator are some of the firm’s main innovations. This study seeks to identify the coexistence of two design and innovation methodologies applied to aeronautical technology by this company. On the one hand, there is a production department that, using standard engineering methodology (Mott, 1995), produces serial helicopters. Besides, a research and development department applies prototype analysis methodology (Gero, 1990) looking for innovations and product improvements.