Basic Engineering Time : Assembly Time Driven by Product Design
In today’s competitive automotive market, many of the world’s leading organizations utilize the Lean manufacturing philosophy in order to increase productivity and stay competitive. With this philosophy come many great methods for improving processes, where focus is put on reducing or eradicating any actions or process that fail to create value for customers, the so-called waste. However, one question that remains is how fast a process actually can be. Having “40% waste”, how can one know if this is the endpoint of a successful efficiency improvement journey, or if the waste can be reduced all the way down to 0%? This Master thesis seeks to identify where this endpoint is located for a specific design of the product, aiming to help organizations allocate improvement work to where it does the greatest impact. Hence, knowing if the endpoint for a process already is reached, organizations can steer improvement work to R&D departments instead of trying to improve something not capable of improving. The findings show that organizations can use the results from this study in more than just one context. Not only will it complement the Lean philosophy by providing a measure of the absolute shortest durations for each individual activity or process under ideal conditions, but also will it facilitate communication between R&D and assembly departments at an earlier stage of the development process by quantifying the impact of different design choices on the total assembly time.
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