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Automation in the wood products industry: challenges and opportunities
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management. Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Industrial Production.
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Industrial Production.
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Industrial Production.
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management. Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Industrial Production.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4853-3140
2016 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A stagnation of productivity increase has been observed in the Swedish wood product industry. The manufacturers believe that there is a need to invest further in automation in order to stay competitive. For this reason, the paper seeks to understand the role of automation in the Swedish wood product industry, and focuses on identifying the challenges and opportunities of automation. The following research question was addressed: What are the challenges and opportunities of automation in the wood product industry? In order to answer the research question, four case studies were conducted, each case representing a different business area. The research question was examined in terms of internal – and external challenges and opportunities. The internal challenges and opportunities examine the manufacturing, while the external challenges and opportunities examine the influence of the business environment. Findings indicate that lack of manufacturing strategies, and lack of awareness of automation technologies were some of the main challenges. Regarding the opportunities, increased profitability and competitiveness were emphasized. The identification of the challenges and opportunities of automation in the wood product industry can provide insights and be used as underlying decisions for automation investments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
Keyword [en]
Levels of Automation (LoA), material utilization, production flexibility
National Category
Robotics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-31957OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-31957DiVA: diva2:1034095
Conference
The 7th Swedish Production Symposium, 25th to 27th October 2016, Lund, Sweden
Available from: 2016-10-11 Created: 2016-10-11 Last updated: 2017-05-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Exploring aspects of automation decisions: A study in the Swedish wood products industry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring aspects of automation decisions: A study in the Swedish wood products industry
2017 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The wood products industry is important to Sweden's prosperity, and is currently facing several challenges by increased global competition. To avoid the gradual decline of the industry’s contribution to the country’s revenues and employment opportunities, the Swedish wood products industry needs to increase the proportion of the raw material that is refined. New and efficient manufacturing technologies are essential to support this development. The implementation of automation in manufacturing needs to be supported by conscious and well-defined strategies. However, currently, there is a lack of knowledge regarding automation decisions in this industry. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to increase knowledge regarding which aspects should be taken into account when automation decisions are considered in the wood products industry. Three research questions are addressed: (1) What is the current state of manufacturing operations in the wood products industry? (2) What are the potential opportunities for automation in the wood products industry? And (3) What challenges can arise from automation in the wood products industry?

The results presented in this thesis are based on four research papers. The first paper provides an overview of the current state of manufacturing operations in the wood products industry. The second paper examined the impact of the raw material on manufacturing operations in the wood products industry. The third paper assessed how the levels of automation in manufacturing impact operational performance. The fourth paper examined automation opportunities and challenges to gain a better understanding of the reasoning behind automation decisions in the industry.

In general, it is concluded that automation decisions in the wood products industry tend to be based on “gut feeling” and previous experience with automation rather than well-defined decisions and strategies. This is due to inadequate knowledge and familiarity with automation technologies in manufacturing. Furthermore, the findings showed that different aspects of manufacturing interact and impact each other. For this reason, it is essential to take into account other aspects of manufacturing when considering automation decisions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: Jönköping University, School of Engineering, 2017. 67 p.
Series
JTH Dissertation Series, 025
Keyword
Sweden, Wood products industry, Manufacturing strategy, Automation decisions
National Category
Engineering and Technology Wood Science
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-35451 (URN)978-91-87289-26-2 (ISBN)
Presentation
2017-06-02, E1405, 10:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
ProWOOD
Available from: 2017-05-11 Created: 2017-05-04 Last updated: 2017-06-02Bibliographically approved

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