Internal material handling at Volvo Construction Equipment Braås
Background: Material handling is a large part of a company´s internal work and represents between 15 % and 70 % of the total cost of a manufactured product. By improving the internal handling of material, more efficient distribution and manufacturing flows are possible. The material handling process is an input to the production and assembly process that has to be defined and mapped so that it can be improved. The material handling process studied at Volvo CE Braås includes goods receiving, storage, packaging as well as the order/delivery process to assembly, and will finish with the material transport to the assembly line.
Research questions: How can the material handling process, from goods receiving to assembly line, at Volvo CE in Braås be described by using VSM? What kinds of waste can be identified? By proposing a future-state map, how can the identified problems and waste be reduced or eliminated?
Methodology: This thesis is a descriptive case study and was conducted with a deductive approach. Data was collected by our own observations, personal interviews, statistics, benchmarking and questionnaire. The scientific credibility of this thesis was secured by for example using many sources, avoidance of assumptions, studying a common process and following standardized steps of the VSM tool.
Conclusions: The material handling process was described in the separated areas of goods receiving, storage and assembly line. Visualization was given in a current-state map. Five different kinds of waste were identified. Finally, suggestions of improvements were presented along with a future-state map.
Suggestions on future research: A more detailed VSM including information flow and lead times could be studied. Scenario simulations of critical areas within the material handling process could be preformed. Furthermore, an ABC classification of articles and storage locations can be done to optimize storage.
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