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Flexibility in Lean Mixed Model Assembly Lines
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation. (IPR)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4059-2664
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation. (IPR)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1518-7958
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation. (IPR)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5963-2470
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation. (IPR)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4308-2678
2014 (English)In: IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, Vol. 440, 2014, no PART 3, p. 224-231Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The purpose of the research presented in this paper has been to characterize flexibility in lean mixed model assembly lines through exploring mechanisms used to achieve flexibility. The study combines a literature review and a multiple case study in two manufacturing companies. Scenarios of volume, mix and operation flexibility, as well as flexibility to introduce or remove products were studied. The results showed that to achieve flexibility related to these scenarios other kinds of flexibilities were used. Common mechanisms to achieve flexibility have been found in the two cases. A characterization of mixed model assembly lines regarding flexibility will be discussed. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. no PART 3, p. 224-231
Keywords [en]
flexibility, lean, Mixed model assembly lines
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-25978DOI: 10.1007/978-3-662-44733-8_28Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84906923655ISBN: 9783662447321 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-25978DiVA, id: diva2:748467
Conference
IFIP WG 5.7 International Conference on Advances in Production Management Systems, APMS 2014; Ajaccio; France; 20 September 2014 through 24 September 2014
Available from: 2014-09-19 Created: 2014-09-19 Last updated: 2015-10-01Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Towards a Lean Integration of Lean
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Towards a Lean Integration of Lean
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Integrating Lean in a process has become increasingly popular over the last decades. Lean as a concept has spread through industry into other sectors such as service, healthcare, and administration. The overwhelming experience from this spread is that Lean is difficult to integrate successfully. It takes a long time and requires large resources in the integration,

as it permeates all aspects of a process. Lean is a system depending on both tools and methods as well as human effort and behavior. There is therefore a need to understand the integration process itself. As many companies have worked with the integration of Lean, there should be a great deal of accumulated knowledge.

The overall intent of this research is therefore to examine how a current state of a Lean integration can be established, that takes into account the dualism of Lean regarding the technical components of Lean, as well as the humanistic components of Lean. Both issues must be addressed if the integration process of Lean is to be efficient. 

Through a literature review, eight views of Lean are established. Taking into consideration historical, foundational, and evolutionary tools and methods, systems, philosophical, cultural, and management views, a comprehensive model of Lean at a group level in a process is proposed. Through two multiple-case studies, the experiences of actual Lean integrations are compared with Lean theory to establish a current state of a Lean integration. There were large similarities in the experiences but also differences due to context and the complexity of Lean as a system. The current state is described in:

  • 9 instances of strongly positive findings. They are often simple tools and methods.
  • 11 instances of weakly positive findings. They are often of a system nature in the dependencies between the Lean methods.
  • 3 instances with vague findings. Seems to be due to lack of focus on the intent of integrating Lean.
  • 3 instances of mixed findings. Can often be connected to personal commitment and the creation of efficient islands.
  • 3 instances of conflicting findings. Seem to be connected to contextual factors.
  • 3 instances of insufficient data. The indications are too few to draw any conclusions. 

Accurately establishing the current state of the Lean integration process is seen as a necessary first step of a Lean integration of Lean.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Eskilstuna: Mälardalen University, 2015. p. 155
Series
Mälardalen University Press Licentiate Theses, ISSN 1651-9256 ; 205
Keywords
Lean Integration Flexibility Management
National Category
Work Sciences
Research subject
Working Life Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-27897 (URN)978-91-7485-208-0 (ISBN)
Presentation
2015-06-09, Filen, Mälardalens högskola, Eskilstuna, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2015-04-27 Created: 2015-04-24 Last updated: 2015-05-18Bibliographically approved
2. Design Process of Flexible Assembly Systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Design Process of Flexible Assembly Systems
2015 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Flexible assembly systems have emerged in response to changing markets and increased variety in form of demands of new products and manufacturer’s need for differentiation. Assembly systems play a critical role in handling great variety and adapting to dynamic changes at the same time as securing product quality and productivity. Therefore, assembly systems should be designed to be able to handle changes. However, the design of flexible assembly systems is a challenge because it involves several subjects such as the configuration of the flow, the material handling and the flexibility to handle future changes and adjustment. In addition, time-to-market and time-to-volume are important which means that faster assembly systems designs are required.

The design process of assembly systems concerns the procedures that guide the design work to achieve an assembly system proposal. The design process is divided into a number of stages/phases describing the activities that should be done and when they should be performed as well as the expected result after each phase supporting the decision-making process. Research argues that working in a systematic and structured way is important in order to achieve better assembly systems in shorter time.

However, even though there is extensive research work in regard to flexibility, knowledge is limited concerning the design process of assembly systems. Therefore, the objective of this thesis has been to increase the knowledge about the design of flexible assembly systems by investigating the relation between the assembly system design process and flexibility. The characteristics of flexible assembly systems and how flexibility is considered during the design process have also been studied in this thesis.

Literature reviews were conducted as well as three case studies and one exploratory survey in the manufacturing industry of heavy vehicles. Study I concerns the results of having studied an industrial international project of the design process of a flexible assembly system during two years. In study II, flexibility needs, enablers and challenges in assembly systems were identified. In study III, the mechanism used to achieve flexibility in the assembly systems of two companies were investigated. The exploratory survey study IV, was a pilot study to investigate the relationship between the design process of assembly systems and flexibility based on the association of different variables involved in the design process of flexible assembly systems.

From the holistic perspective adopted in this thesis, the results showed that flexibility should be considered in a comprehensive way during all the design process. The design process of flexible assembly systems is iterative, circumscribed by different conditions, and requires support as well as the participation of different roles and functions to achieve a solution. The increased knowledge generated in the research is expected to lead to future development of working procedures that better can support the design process of flexible assembly systems.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2015
Series
Mälardalen University Press Licentiate Theses, ISSN 1651-9256 ; 218
National Category
Engineering and Technology Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-28911 (URN)978-91-7485-233-2 (ISBN)
Presentation
2015-10-27, Raspen, Mälardalens högskola, Eskilstuna, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-09-14 Created: 2015-09-11 Last updated: 2017-10-25Bibliographically approved

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Svensson Harari, NataliaOsterman, ChristerBruch, JessicaJackson, Mats

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