Assembly flow design and process data digitalization for Process Industries : Flow and Line balancing with Simulation for Paper and Pulp Instruments with digital Information management
Abstract: The ABB Lorentzen and Wettre in Kista produces Paper and Pulp Testing Instruments for Paper Mills worldwide. The unit has product range of over 140 instruments. In the production there is significantly longer throughput times compared to the demand takt in the assembly of instruments since they are working in a Fixed position layout. The problem with order control and production planning strategies have been focused on the company. The Project focuses on the assembly design with line and flow balancing of the Paper and pulp Instruments. It has been performed for 4 Instruments with various types of Assembly methodologies, layouts and determine feasible work content balancing. The second objective is the Lead Time analysis and Throughput time optimization for the above-mentioned Products and recommendation for reduction. And further aligning with the challenges within sourcing and net-working capital for the instruments. The third objective is in the Shop floor Information data analysis. The fourth objective is the digitalization of process information through work Instructions of process data used by Assembly and integrating vertically with the ERP system. Several assembly design strategies were evaluated as traditional U-shaped line, Mixed product lines, Two-sided assembly as well as the Rabbit chasing cell layout using simulation with input regarding assembly precedence, order flow and resource routing were studied. The strategies were evaluated based on the operator utilization, throughput, and lead times for the Instruments with the Line balancing. Furthermore, validating in flow simulation for the dynamic scenario of the product routing, scheduling, and resource allocation in the Assembly. This means that the assembly design was chosen as the strategy with the shortest lead time, throughput time for the products. The process data digitalization has been performed for one of the instruments as a pilot project and vertical integration has been proposed as an information model. The results from the assembly balancing shows that the proposed assembly strategies have influence in the assembly in terms of the operator utilization and the Product routing in ABBs manual assembly. The process data digitalization has been aligned closely with assembly design since the transformation from the fixed position layout to the Assembly cells or lines have significant influence in the product knowledge across the resources in the assembly. The Lead times can be reduced by 32% in average from 12 weeks to 8 weeks by implementing the proposals of the instruments that are evaluated in the production system. The conclusion of the research shows that it will be more beneficial to implement the methodologies and deploy them across the other instruments for a more effective and smarter production process.
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