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Reconfigurable Production System Design - theoretical and practical challenges
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Industrial Production.
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH. Research area Industrial Production.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0216-4493
2013 (English)In: Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, ISSN 1741-038X, E-ISSN 1758-7786, Vol. 24, no 7, 998-1018 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore theoretical and practical challenges to achieve reconfigurable production system designs. Design/methodology/approach – Presented results are based on a multiple-case study involving two industrial companies and in total four production system design projects in which considerations of reconfigurability were studied. Additionally, literature related to reconfigurability and production system design was reviewed.

Findings – For more than a decade foresight reports have pointed out the need for responsiveness to change through reconfigurability in production system design. In order to achieve reconfigurable production systems, three challenges were identified: to use a structured design methodology, to gain knowledge in reconfigurability and its characteristics, and to include the reconfigurability knowledge in a structured design methodology. Still there is no comprehensive support available for reconfigurability in the production system design process.Research limitations/implications – Limitations are mostly related to the chosen methodology approach, and additional empirical studies to establish generic results are required. Practical implications By combining knowledge from the production system design field with the reconfigurable manufacturing system field a potential of meeting identified challenges is pointed out. Originality/value This paper adds to current knowledge by pointing out three main challenges to achieving reconfigurable production systems. The paper also contributes with ideas on how to respond to these challenges.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 24, no 7, 998-1018 p.
Keyword [en]
Production system design, reconfigurability, review, challenges, manufacturing industry
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-19340DOI: 10.1108/JMTM-02-2012-0021Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84885825915OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-19340DiVA: diva2:549368
Available from: 2012-09-04 Created: 2012-09-04 Last updated: 2015-03-05Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Supporting the design of reconfigurable production systems
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Supporting the design of reconfigurable production systems
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

To compete, manufacturing companies need production systems that quickly can respond to changes. To handle change drivers such as volume variations or new product variants, reconfigurability is advocated as a competitive means. This implies an ability to add, remove, and/or rearrange the structure of the production system to be ready for future changes. Still, it is not clear how the production system design process can capture and support the de-sign of reconfigurable production systems. Therefore, the objective of this thesis is to increase the knowledge of how to support the design of reconfig-urable production systems. Reconfigurability could be defined by a number of reconfigurability char-acteristics including convertibility, scalability, automatibility, mobility, modularity, integrability, and diagnosability. In eight case studies, reconfigu-rability characteristics in production system design were studied in order to investigate reconfigurability needs, knowledge, and practice in manufactur-ing companies. In three of the case studies reconfigurable production sys-tems were studied to identify the links between change drivers and reconfig-urability characteristics. In the remaining five case studies, reconfigurability in the production system design processes was addressed in terms of needs, prerequisites, and consideration. Based on the literature review and the case studies, support for reconfigu-rable production system design is suggested including two parts. The first part comprises support for analyzing the need for reconfigurability. Based on relevant change drivers the need for reconfigurability must be identified to enable selection of right type and degree of reconfigurability for each specif-ic case of application. A comprehensive view of the reconfigurability charac-teristics is presented and links between change drivers and reconfigurability characteristics are described. The characteristics are divided into critical characteristics, that lead to a capacity or functionality change of the produc-tion system, and supporting characteristics, that reduce system reconfigura-tion time but do not necessarily lead to a modification of functionality or capacity of the production system. The second part provides support in how to consider reconfigurability in the production system design process. A holistic perspective is crucial to design reconfigurable production systems and therefore constituent parts of a production system are described. Accord-ing to their character physical, logical, and human reconfiguration must be considered through the whole production system design process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Mälardalen University, 2012. 201 p.
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 130
Keyword
production system, production system design, development, reconfigurability
National Category
Mechanical Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-20306 (URN)978-91-7485-079-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2012-10-11, Filen, Smedjegatan 37, Eskilstuna, 10:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2013-01-21 Created: 2013-01-21 Last updated: 2013-01-21Bibliographically approved

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