Next generation rear axle assembly - A case study of Scania CV AB

University essay from Lunds universitet/Produktionsekonomi

Abstract: Title: Next generation rear axle assembly - A case study at Scania Authors: Richard Andrae & William Bergmark Background: Following the development of industry 4.0, new production technologies enabling more efficient assembly processes constantly evolve. Scania is a leading manufacturer of trucks in Sweden, offering a wide product portfolio and the possibility for their customers to customize their orders. A large portion of the production of rear axles for Scania is today made at four different assembly lines (also called “Zones”) at Södertälje. The assembly line at Zone 1 is approaching the end of its economic lifespan. Simultaneously, its current design complicates the introduction of new products, which may complicate the transition to producing trucks with electrical power trains. Purpose: The study aims to evaluate how Scania can design a new assembly line for rear axles at Zone 1 which improves its production flexibility, the production efficiency and ergonomics. The study consists of three research questions: Research Question 1 (RQ1): How can Scania meet the present and future challenges at Zone 1 of the rear axle assembly line? Research Question 2 (RQ2): How can a new assembly line be designed to increase the production flexibility, production efficiency and ergonomics of the rear axle production at Scania - and at what cost? Research Question 3 (RQ3): How can the method for evaluating this challenge be applied to other assembly line projects? Methodology: The study is based upon a case-study built upon mainly qualitative data from interviews and observations and quantitative production data. In the beginning of the study an exploratory research design was applied, which was later succeeded by a problem-solving research design. The overall method can be divided into three steps; The theoretical background/literature study, Empirical Research at Scania and Concept generation and evaluation. Conclusions: The results of this study concludes that the current assembly line has multiple imperfect solutions. Through automating tasks that are currently performed manually Scania can improve the ergonomic grading of the assembly line, reduce the labour costs and free up both space and time to introduce new products. Furthermore, a method that is applicable for designing new or renovating old assembly lines is developed and presented. Keywords: Assembly line, Rear Axle, Automation, Industry 4.0, Ergonomics, Takt time

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