Value and sustainability design concept assessment using Discrete Event Simulation : A case in the road constructor sector

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/Institutionen för maskinteknik

Abstract: This master thesis has been performed in association with Blekinge Institute of Technology and in collaboration with the company Dynapac Compaction Equipment AB. The thesis aims to investigate how Discrete Event Simulation (DES) can be used for value and sustainability design concept assessments in early design stages. The research is made by investigating the example of simulating the lifecycle of a double drum asphalt compactor. The model is created in the computerbased DES software Simio LLC, where the captured data of the compactor´s lifecycle performances are linked to a Net Present Value (NPV) model and a sustainability assessment. The model is then further explored and evaluated in the Decision Arena, located at Blekinge Institute of Technology.  The simulated model is created to approach a ‘lifelike’ lifecycle of the machine, containing the compactor´s ordinary usage in road construction. This includes operations in sidewalk, parking lot and pothole repair scenarios. The model contain service, maintenance, transport, workers, resource sharing and more. The model is connected to MS Excel to transfer data. The life cycle performances are captured in the model and used to estimate the cost parameters of energy -, water -, maintenance -, service - and transportation energy cost within the NPV model. The CO2 – emission for fuel consumption and transport, together with the total water consumption in the sustainability assessment.  The outcome of the thesis showed that the method gave good results for developing new design configurations in the early phases in product development. The method could support designing towards sustainable and long-term solutions and collaborations over the sectors (i.e. between stakeholders, engineers, designers, non-experts and more). The outcome in the specific case resulted in successfulness of capturing all lifecycle performances of the machine and linking them to the mentioned parameters. The research question is, however, generic and the investigation for the specific case study uses assumptions and up- and down scaled data to protect the company secrecy. For future work, the method together with Internet of Things (IoT), Digital Twin or Industry 4.0 could be in high interest to investigate further.  

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