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Modular reconfigurable flexible final assembly systems

Juhani Heilala (Juhani Heilala is at VTT Manufacturing Technology, Finland. E‐mail:
Paavo Voho (Paavo Voho is at VTT Manufacturing Technology, Finland. E‐mail:

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Article publication date: 1 March 2001



Market turbulence forces assembly plants to constantly adjust their production volume of products, variants and quantities. At the same time, assembly plant managers must protect long‐term investments in the flexible assembly system. For reconfigurability and agility the best solution is the modular semi‐automatic approach by combining flexible automation and human skills. It gives managers possibility to adjust volume by adding new modules or to automate the manual tasks step by step. The control of material handling and information flow in the agile assembly system is important. To keep flexibility, the combination of an intelligent pallet, i.e. use of escort memory, carrying a single product together with other hardware providing paperless production even supports a lot size of one. The article shows how to create flexible capability and capacity in the final assembly systems.



Heilala, J. and Voho, P. (2001), "Modular reconfigurable flexible final assembly systems", Assembly Automation, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 20-30.




Copyright © 2001, MCB UP Limited

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