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  • 1.
    Andersen, Ann-Louise
    et al.
    Aalborg University, Denmark.
    Brunoe, Thomas Ditlev
    Aalborg University, Denmark.
    Nielsen, Kjeld
    Aalborg University, Denmark.
    Rösiö, Carin
    Jönköping University, Sweden.
    Towards a generic design method for reconfigurable manufacturing systems: Analysis and synthesis of current design methods and evaluation of supportive tools2017In: Journal of manufacturing systems, ISSN 0278-6125, E-ISSN 1878-6642, Vol. 42, p. 179-195Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In  today’s global manufacturing environment, changes are inevitable and something that every manufacturer must respond to and take advantage of, whether it is in regards to technology changes, product changes, or changes in the manufacturing processes. The reconfigurable manufacturing system (RMS) meets this challenge through the ability to rapidly and efficiently change capacity and functionality, which is the reason why it has been widely labelled the manufacturing paradigm of the future. However, design of the RMS represents a significant challenge compared to the design of traditional manufacturing systems, as it should be designed for efficient production of multiple variants, as well as multiple product generations over its lifetime. Thus, critical decisions regarding the degree of scalability and convertibility of the system must be considered in the design phase, which affects the abilities to reconfigure the system in accordance with changes during its operating lifetime. However, in current research it is indicated that conventional manufacturing system design methods do not support the design of an RMS and that a systematic RMS design method is lacking, despite the fact that numerous contributions exist. Moreover, there is currently only limited evidence for the breakthrough of reconfigurability in industry. Therefore, the research presented in this paper aims at synthesizing current contributions into a generic method for RMS design. Initially, currently available design methods for RMS are reviewed, in terms of classifying and comparing their content, structure, and scope, which leads to a synthesis of the reviewed methods into a generic design method. In continuation of this, the paper includes a discussion of practical implications related to carrying out the design, including an identification of potential challenges and an assessment of which tools that can be applied to support the design. Conclusively, further areas for research are indicated, which provides valuable knowledge of how to develop and realize the benefits of reconfigurability in industry.

  • 2.
    Andersson, Carin H.
    et al.
    Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
    Bellgran, Monica
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
    On the complexity of using performance measures: Enhancing sustained production improvement capability by combining OEE and productivity2015In: Journal of manufacturing systems, ISSN 0278-6125, E-ISSN 1878-6642, Vol. 35, p. 144-154Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The global speed of change within the manufacturing industry forces companies to constantly improve production performance. In that effort, performance measures are critical for driving and managing production improvements. Two of the most commonly used measures in operations are productivity and overall equipment efficiency (OEE). However, the potential of using these measures as improvement drivers is not fully utilized in industry today due, for example, to ambiguities in definitions and their interpretation. A study of available theory indicates a gap between these implications from a theoretical perspective vs. the industrial perspective. Bridging this theory-practice gap implies great potential for competitiveness and growth in manufacturing, since the latent production capacity that could be utilized is tremendous. Even if a high degree of complexity in definition and calculation when applied in operational conditions might be perceived, this paper will show that a systematically used combined set of OEE and productivity measures can successfully drive production improvements. Also, two new productivity measures for driving improvements at the shop floor level are proposed. The empirical findings are based on a two-year case study within a manufacturing company in the automotive industry using an interactive research approach. 

  • 3.
    Asadi, Narges
    et al.
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
    Jackson, M.
    Jönköping University, Sweden.
    Fundin, Anders
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Innovation and Product Realisation.
    Implications of realizing mix flexibility in assembly systems for product modularity—A case study2019In: Journal of manufacturing systems, ISSN 0278-6125, E-ISSN 1878-6642, Vol. 52, p. 13-22Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To enable the production of high product variety, mix flexibility in assembly systems is of paramount importance for manufacturing companies. Mixed-product assembly lines (MPALs) are growing as the key means of realizing mix flexibility in many manufacturing sectors, as they absorb volume fluctuations and offer high product variety. With the increasing product variety in MPALs, these assembly systems are becoming more complex. However, the practical challenges of these assembly systems, in particular those concerning product design, have not been adequately addressed. By performing a case study of a heavy machinery manufacturing company, this paper investigates the implications of realizing mix flexibility in an assembly system for product modularity. The findings pinpoint the low level of product modularity in assembly as the most important challenge in MPALs. Accordingly, realizing mix flexibility in an MPAL impacts product modularity through establishing a common assembly sequence and defining similar module contents across distinct product families.

  • 4.
    Stillström, Carin
    et al.
    Jönköping University.
    Jackson, Mats
    Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering.
    The concept of mobile manufacturing2007In: Journal of manufacturing systems, ISSN 0278-6125, E-ISSN 1878-6642, Vol. 26, no 3/4, p. 188-193Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is increasingly important to locate manufacturing activities close to the most relevant competence or the most interesting market. The possibility to easily and quickly move manufacturing capacity is thus becoming more important. Hence, the demand for mobile manufacturing has increased and requires solutions for a quick, rational, and economical reconfiguration of the production system. Within the research project Factory-in-a-Box, the concept of mobile manufacturing has been investigated through the development and implementation of five operative demonstrators. This paper will analyze the concept of mobile manufacturing by presenting the results from the Factory-in-a-Box research project and its demonstrator development. The objective is to clarify when mobile manufacturing capacity can be a proper solution to use as well as to discuss future possible industrial manufacturing applications. The results show that there is a large range of applications for the concept of mobile manufacturing and that two dimensions - the geographical distance and the organizational distance - can be used to classify the mobility within manufacturing systems. (C) 2008 The Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

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