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Approaching the Reduction of Uncertainty in Production System Design through Discrete-Event Simulation
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0798-0753
2017 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The presence of uncertainties associated to the introduction of novelty and significant change challenge manufacturing competitiveness. Addressing this issue, the purpose of this qualitative case study is to examine the uncertainties reduced by Discrete Event Simulation (DES) use during the design of a production system when significant changes are introduced at a manufacturing company. The results of this paper, based on empirical findings from a Swedish manufacturing company, reveal the presence of eight different uncertainties affecting the design of a production system including state, technical, environmental, systemic, temporal, structural, epistemic, and definitional. Empirical results also show how DES contributed to reducing technical, structural, epistemic, and definitional uncertainties. This paper contributes to existing knowledge by proposing a model that aids decision makers anticipate the type of uncertainty faced and the suitability of DES use as an uncertainty reducing activity during significant change introduction in the design of a production system.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. p. 229-238
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-39271ISBN: 978-3-7376-0192-4 (print)ISBN: 978-3-7376-0193-1 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-39271DiVA, id: diva2:1209486
Conference
Simulation in Produktion und Logistik 2017, Kassel, 20-22 September, 2017
Available from: 2018-05-23 Created: 2018-05-23 Last updated: 2019-10-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Supporting Decision-Making in the Design of Production Systems: A Discrete Event Simulation perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Supporting Decision-Making in the Design of Production Systems: A Discrete Event Simulation perspective
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Manufacturing companies are introducing process innovations, namely new production processes or technologies, to achieve increased competitiveness. Production systems design can ensure the fulfillment of process innovations. However, literature shows that the staff responsible for the design of production systems face unfamiliar circumstances, lack of consensus or understanding (equivocality), and absence of information (uncertainty). Hence, manufacturing companies find it difficult to support decision-making in the design of production systems leading to increased competitiveness. One way to support decision-making during production systems design is through discrete-event simulation (DES). However, there is limited understanding of the application of DES in decision-making support, in this context.

Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to support decision-making through DES in the design of production systems involving process innovations. To this end, the thesis reviews the current understanding of production system design, including decision-making and DES. This thesis adopts a qualitative case study method to extract empirical data from three production systems design projects of a manufacturing company in the heavy vehicle industry.

The thesis offers several contributions. Firstly, the findings identify the conditions of use, challenges, requirements, and activities essential for the utilization of DES during production system design related to process innovations. These important findings are critical for supporting decision-making when manufacturing companies renew their production processes. Secondly, this thesis reveals that determining the conditions of use of DES for supporting decision-making rests on the structuredness of a decision (e.g. its degree of equivocality or analyzability), and the quantitative or qualitative nature or DES models. Thirdly, the results describe four novel findings about the challenges undermining the use of DES including equivocality, uncertainty, and the lack of a structured approach and the absence of resources for DES use. Fourthly, the results reveal three requirements necessary for the use of DES including analyzing information consensus, specifying the activities of conceptual models, and coordinating DES models with the information needs. Fifthly, this thesis provides three valuable findings describing additional activities in the design of production systems related to defining the objectives of DES models, and facilitating a structured approach and the management of resources for the use of DES.

This thesis present a framework that contributes to the use of DES for decision-making support at manufacturing companies. Based on this framework, managers of those companies can supervise formal activities involving the use of DES in production systems design.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Eskilstuna: Mälardalen University, 2019
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 299
Keywords
production system design; Discrete Event Simulation; process innovation; decision-making
National Category
Engineering and Technology Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-45542 (URN)978-91-7485-443-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-11-29, Filen, Mälardalens högskola, Eskilstuna, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2019-10-15 Created: 2019-10-15 Last updated: 2019-10-15Bibliographically approved

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Etxagibel Larrañaga, AsierFlores García, Erik

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Citation style
  • apa
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Language
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