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Linking product design to flexibility in an assembly system: a case study

Linking product design to flexibility in an assembly system: a case study PurposeThe recent shift towards accommodating flexibility in manufacturing companies and the complexity resulting from product variety highlight the significance of flexible assembly systems and designing products for them. The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into the requirements of a flexible assembly system for product design from the assembly system’s standpoint.Design/methodology/approachTo fulfil the purpose of the paper, a literature review and a case study were performed. The case study was conducted with an interactive research approach in a global market leader company within the heavy vehicle manufacturing industry.FindingsThe findings indicate that common assembly sequence, similar assembly interfaces, and common parts are the main requirements of a flexible assembly system for product design which reduce complexity and facilitate various flexibility dimensions. Accordingly, a model is proposed to broaden the understanding of these requirements from the assembly system’s standpoint.Research limitations/implicationsThis study contributes to the overlapping research area of flexible assembly systems and product design.Practical implicationsThe proposed model is largely based on practical data and clarifies the role of product design in facilitating flexibility in an assembly system. It can be used by assembly managers, assembly engineers, and product designers.Originality/valueThe key originality of this paper compared to the previous studies lies in presenting a novel assembly-oriented design model. The model enhances understanding of a flexible assembly system’s requirements for product design with regard to reducing complexity and managing variation in a flexible assembly system. These requirements can be applied to product design across various product families within a company’s product portfolio. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management Emerald Publishing

Linking product design to flexibility in an assembly system: a case study

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1741-038X
DOI
10.1108/JMTM-10-2016-0144
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe recent shift towards accommodating flexibility in manufacturing companies and the complexity resulting from product variety highlight the significance of flexible assembly systems and designing products for them. The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into the requirements of a flexible assembly system for product design from the assembly system’s standpoint.Design/methodology/approachTo fulfil the purpose of the paper, a literature review and a case study were performed. The case study was conducted with an interactive research approach in a global market leader company within the heavy vehicle manufacturing industry.FindingsThe findings indicate that common assembly sequence, similar assembly interfaces, and common parts are the main requirements of a flexible assembly system for product design which reduce complexity and facilitate various flexibility dimensions. Accordingly, a model is proposed to broaden the understanding of these requirements from the assembly system’s standpoint.Research limitations/implicationsThis study contributes to the overlapping research area of flexible assembly systems and product design.Practical implicationsThe proposed model is largely based on practical data and clarifies the role of product design in facilitating flexibility in an assembly system. It can be used by assembly managers, assembly engineers, and product designers.Originality/valueThe key originality of this paper compared to the previous studies lies in presenting a novel assembly-oriented design model. The model enhances understanding of a flexible assembly system’s requirements for product design with regard to reducing complexity and managing variation in a flexible assembly system. These requirements can be applied to product design across various product families within a company’s product portfolio.

Journal

Journal of Manufacturing Technology ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 5, 2017

References