Parts feeding of low-volume parts to assembly lines in the automotive industry

Examensarbete för masterexamen

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Type: Examensarbete för masterexamen
Master Thesis
Title: Parts feeding of low-volume parts to assembly lines in the automotive industry
Authors: Karlsson, Andreas
Markus, Svanström
Abstract: Parts feeding to mixed-model assembly lines in the automotive industry is a large challenge, since diverse customer demands have increased the amount of parts handled within the production facilities; hence a large amount of parts can be categorized as low-volume parts. Existing theory states that the design of the parts feeding system impacts the performance of the production system, however, there is a gap in existing literature regarding research focusing on parts feeding policies appropriate for low-volume parts. The aim of this study is therefore to develop guidelines for when different parts feeding policies are suitable to apply for LVPs and highlight the effects of design options related to the parts feeding system. The aim has been broken down into three research questions which the study should answer: 1. How can low-volume parts be defined for parts feeding in the automotive industry? 2. Which parts feeding policies are suitable to use for low-volume parts, and for what part characteristics does each policy fit best? 3. How should the parts feeding system related to each parts feeding policy for low-volume parts be designed? A multiple case study of four companies within the automotive industry has been performed in order to fulfill the aim. The study has been qualitative and data has been collected through direct observations, semi-structured interviews and internal documents. It was identified that companies within the automotive industry can benefit from categorizing their parts based on consumption volume, where low-volume parts could be grouped into a separate segment. This allows for reduced complexity in the assignment of parts feeding policies. This study has concluded that it is less beneficial to use continuous supply for low-volume parts compared with other parts feeding policies. The assignment of parts feeding policies for low-volume parts can be performed based on part characteristics, where the part size and amount of part variants within the part family have been identified as most relevant to consider. Findings related to the design of the parts feeding system include that space limitations near the assembly line has a large influence on design choices. Furthermore, it is beneficial to consolidate parts when transporting them to the lineside presentation. In addition, the picking accuracy has been identified as more important for low-volume parts than picking efficiency, and picking information such as pick-by-voice can be helpful to enable increased accuracy of picking operations. Keywords: parts feeding policy, parts feeding system, low-volume parts, automotive industry, continuous supply, kanban-based continuous supply, kitting, sequencing
Keywords: Transport;Övrig industriell teknik och ekonomi;Transport;Other industrial engineering and economics
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Chalmers tekniska högskola / Institutionen för teknikens ekonomi och organisation
Chalmers University of Technology / Department of Technology Management and Economics
Series/Report no.: Master thesis. E - Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden : E2016:002
Collection:Examensarbeten för masterexamen // Master Theses

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