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Towards Establishing Similar Assembly Interfaces for a Mixed-product Assembly System
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3560-9372
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3187-7932
2016 (English)In: Procedia CIRP, 2016, p. 635-640Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Developing a mixed-product assembly line (MPAL) is an elaborate task due to the complexity raised by product variety. This paper proposes that securing similar assembly interfaces across distinct product families is an essential requirement of MPALs which facilitates flexibility and reduces complexity. The concept of similar assembly interfaces has been developed and analysed in a case study at a heavy vehicle manufacturing company. The results suggest that assembly interfaces can be defined according to generic assembly operation steps: pick, place and attach. The paper highlights the need for development of a cross-functional methodology to analyse and establish similar assembly interfaces.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. p. 635-640
Keywords [en]
complexity, Flexibility, mixed-product assembly line, product design, product variety, Assembly machines, Assembly operations, Cross-functional, Heavy vehicle, Product assembly, Product families, Assembly
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-33202DOI: 10.1016/j.procir.2016.04.161ISI: 000387666600107Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84986600139OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-33202DiVA, id: diva2:972793
Conference
26th CIRP Design Conference, 2016, 15 June 2016 through 17 June 2016
Available from: 2016-09-22 Created: 2016-09-22 Last updated: 2018-02-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Flexibility in assembly systems using product design
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Flexibility in assembly systems using product design
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Growing customer demands for product variety, new and rapid technological developments, and the short life cycle of products characterise the current volatile market. To maintain a competitive edge in the market, manufacturing companies need to accommodate flexibility in their assembly systems that are essential parts of the manufacturing systems with respect to cost, time, and creating product variety. Given the importance of establishing flexible assembly systems, the complexity raised by increasing product variety and the value of appropriate product designs to assembly systems highlight the pivotal role of product design in a flexible assembly system. Despite its significance to theory and practice, however, the characteristics of flexibility in an assembly system and its links to product design are still ambiguous and unexplored.

The objective of this thesis is to expand the current knowledge of flexibility in assembly systems and using product design to support its achievement. To accomplish the objective and by adopting an interactive research approach, five case studies were conducted in the heavy machinery manufacturing industry. A literature review underpins all the case studies comprising one multiple and four single case studies.

Through its findings, this research defines flexibility in an assembly system, identifies its dimensions, and pinpoints its enablers. Additionally, three requirements of a flexible assembly system for product design are identified: a common assembly sequence, similar assembly interfaces, and common parts. These requirements, if fulfilled in product design across distinct product families, reduce the perceived complexity and support various flexibility dimensions in the assembly system. Moreover, the development of a common assembly sequence and similar assembly interfaces, as the two key requirements of a flexible assembly system for product design, is described.

Further, based upon developing understanding and knowledge about a flexible assembly system and its requirements for product design, a model and a framework are proposed. The model addresses the role of product design in achieving flexibility in an assembly system. To support the alignment of product design with the key requirements of a flexible assembly system during the product design process, the assembly-oriented framework details the development of these requirements. Through its outcomes, this thesis contributes to the research area of flexible assembly systems and sheds light on its interface with the engineering design field. Moreover, the proposed model and framework aim to assist assembly practitioners and product designers in establishing a flexible assembly system and aligning product design with its key requirements.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University Press, 2017
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 244
National Category
Engineering and Technology Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Innovation and Design
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-37176 (URN)978-91-7485-356-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-12-15, Raspen, Mälardalens högskola, Eskilstuna, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-11-01 Created: 2017-11-01 Last updated: 2017-11-28Bibliographically approved

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Asadi, NargesJackson, Mats R.Fundin, Anders

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