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Article

Chengyao Ren, Carmine Barlotti, Yuval Cohen, Barbara Frangipane, Mario Garofalo, Giulio Cozzari and Corey Metz

The purpose of the paper is to highlight the considerations and lessons learned from a re-layout project in an assembly area for productivity improvement. The case study…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to highlight the considerations and lessons learned from a re-layout project in an assembly area for productivity improvement. The case study took place in Bosch Rexroth Oil Control Nonantola (Italy) with satisfactory results. The paper suggests how to approach reorganization projects with focus on productivity improvements following defined targets.

Design/methodology/approach

After an analysis of the initial status, the authors examine several plausible layout alternatives: the main comparison criteria and their weights are defined. Then a scoring/measuring procedure follows for the criteria of each alternative, and the alternatives are compared using principal parameters analysis (PPA).

Findings

The paper lists common considerations and lessons learned in the re-layout process. Using the PPA, the authors validate the best solution for the company.

Originality/value

This paper shares a valuable experience that is general enough to be shared with many other assembly systems. A unique experience combining re-layout planning, MTM and use of PPA is shared with the readers.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article

Aviv Kidron, Yuval Ofek and Herztel Cohen

The shift from the traditional audit towards performance audit implies that internal auditors in the public sector function as change agents who underpin the fundamental…

Abstract

Purpose

The shift from the traditional audit towards performance audit implies that internal auditors in the public sector function as change agents who underpin the fundamental change process. This paper aims to propose a model that identifies the determinants of organisational change in the public sector that result from internal auditing and the way internal auditors facilitate it.

Design/methodology/approach

The conceptual discussion of this paper is based on a review of relevant literature, both practical and academic.

Findings

This paper develops an innovative model that describes the factors leading to auditees’ change readiness after undergoing internal audit processes. The independent variable is audit information quality and the dependent variable, organisational change. Auditees’ perceptions is the mediator variable, and accessibility to audit information is the moderator variable.

Practical implications

The proposed model suggests the advantages that can be gained by audit-related services, which in turn will add value to the organisation. The relationships between the variables inform practitioners on how to support effective audits as a means of increasing performance and influencing organisational change.

Originality/value

As the paper offers an innovative model, it may open up new research areas in internal auditing that can be studied by using both qualitative and quantitative methods.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 31 no. 8/9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

Content available
Article

Maurizio Faccio and Yuval Cohen

Abstract

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Article

Yuval Cohen

The purpose of this paper is to describe a comprehensive modelling technique that supports the assembly of very complex products that require intensive use of both…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe a comprehensive modelling technique that supports the assembly of very complex products that require intensive use of both computerized worker guidance and automation. The modelling enables the planning of this complex process.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed approach utilizes and extends typical product documentation (such as route cards and bill of materials (BOM)) to form hierarchical Petri net in a stepwise process. The suggested framework models the dynamic progress of the assembly process, and can generate route card instructions for manual operations, or ladder diagrams (LDs) for automation.

Findings

The model can help the generation of computerized control over route cards for manual assembly operations. For automated processes, the translation algorithm of the model to LD enables its application on currently available equipment (programmable logic controllers (PLCs)).

Research limitations/implications

The proposed framework heavily depends on the BOM data quality. So it is crucial to verify that the BOM data is not ill-defined before applying the proposed framework. Future research could report on the implementation of this model in assembly processes, or suggest another modelling technique.

Practical implications

The model enables the integration of computer control over both manual and automated assembly processes. This enables seamless transition between these two very different operations. This ability carries the promise of reducing the cost of code generation and maintenance, and contributes to the progress towards more flexible automation.

Originality/value

This paper presents a new comprehensive modelling technique that may support planning, simulating, tracing, and controlling the assembly process. The technique for the first time integrates modelling of both manual and automated assembly operation.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

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Article

Robin Hanson, Lars Medbo and Mats I. Johansson

The purpose of this paper is to determine whether man-hour efficiency of picking is affected by the use of batch preparation, compared to preparation of one kit at a time…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine whether man-hour efficiency of picking is affected by the use of batch preparation, compared to preparation of one kit at a time. This paper focuses on small kit preparation areas.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on two experiments that were performed at a vehicle assembly plant and then analysed quantitatively.

Findings

The results provide a strong indication of the advantages associated with batch preparation, in terms of man-hour efficiency.

Practical implications

The fact that the effects identified during the experiments are substantial, over 20 per cent reduction of average time per picked component in Experiment 1 and 7 per cent in Experiment 2, indicates that the option of batch picking holds potentials for large cost reduction and should be considered when kit preparation systems are designed.

Originality/value

Limited research has dealt with the design of kit preparation systems, thus leaving considerable knowledge gaps. Previous research dealing with batch picking focuses on other environments than kitting and on large picking areas where batching can reduce walking distances. In contrast, the current paper focuses on small picking areas, which are common in industrial kitting applications. This paper provides a considerable contribution by demonstrating improvements in time efficiency that batch preparation can offer to small picking areas in addition to larger areas. The discussion also provides a basis for future research, which could focus on aspects other than time efficiency, such as the quality of kit preparation, and variables that might moderate the effect of batching.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article

Fatme Makssoud, Olga Battaïa , Alexandre Dolgui, Khumbulani Mpofu and Olayinka Olabanji

The purpose of this study is to develop a new mathematical model and an exact solution method for an assembly line rebalancing problem. When an existing assembly line has…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to develop a new mathematical model and an exact solution method for an assembly line rebalancing problem. When an existing assembly line has to be adapted to a new production context, the line balancing, resources allocation and component management solutions have to be revised. The objective is to minimize the number of modifications to be done in the initial line in order to reduce the time and investment needed to meet new production requirements. The proposed model is evaluated via a computational experiment. The obtained results the efficacy of the proposed method.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper develops a new mathematical model and an exact solution method for an assembly line rebalancing problem with the objective to minimize the number of modifications to be done in the initial line to reduce the time and investments needed to meet new production requirements.

Findings

The computational experiments show the efficacy of the proposed method.

Originality/value

These reconfiguration costs were analysed for different part-feeding policies that can be adopted in an assembly line.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article

Hamid Yilmaz and Mustafa Yilmaz

The purpose of this paper is balancing multi-manned assembly lines with load-balancing constraints in addition to conventional ones Most research works about the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is balancing multi-manned assembly lines with load-balancing constraints in addition to conventional ones Most research works about the multi-manned assembly line balancing problems are focused on the conventional industrial measures that minimize total number of workers, number of multi-manned workstations or both.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper provides a remedial constraint for the model to balance task load density for each worker in workstations.

Findings

Comparisons between the proposed mathematical model and the existing multi-manned mathematical model show a quite promising better task load density performance for the proposed approach.

Originality/value

In this paper, a mathematical model that combines the minimization of multi-manned stations, worker numbers and difference of task load density of workers is proposed for the first time.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article

Christian Finetto, Giulio Rosati, Maurizio Faccio and Aldo Rossi

This paper aims to provide a framework for the choice, design, set-up and management of a fully flexible assembly system (F-FAS). Many industrial applications for small…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide a framework for the choice, design, set-up and management of a fully flexible assembly system (F-FAS). Many industrial applications for small batch productions require highly flexible automated manufacturing systems. Moreover, some extensions of the F-FAS concept are provided.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews recent findings regarding the F-FAS with a top-down approach, and defines an integrated implementation framework. This framework is structured into three strictly correlated phases, and the presented procedure is organized to be readily used for new industrial applications. Practical applications are presented to show how the system can satisfy flexibility demands in a variety of cases.

Findings

The proposed framework is organized in three steps: convenience analysis of the F-FAS compared to a traditional flexible assembly system; an optimal design of the feeder; a choice of the set-up and sequencing algorithm yielding the highest throughput. Following these steps, the F-FAS can become an effective solution for small batch productions with frequent reconfigurations. However, due to the limited throughput, the system is not well suited for large batches.

Originality/value

The presented framework allows to implement an F-FAS for a given industrial application, and to evaluate its efficacy with respect to other assembly technologies. Moreover, with the same implementation framework, the F-FAS concept can be applied to production fields that are different from assembly, as shown by the provided examples. This represents an important element of originality and of interest for its strong practical implications in different production environments.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article

M. Bevilacqua, F.E. Ciarapica, I. De Sanctis, G. Mazzuto and C. Paciarotti

The purpose of this paper is to uncover the significance of quick changeovers in the packaging line of a pharmaceutical company. Using an integration of different lean…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to uncover the significance of quick changeovers in the packaging line of a pharmaceutical company. Using an integration of different lean practices, the study aims to reduce the batch change and changeover time up to 50 per cent, increasing overall equipment effectiveness by 25 per cent.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper gives setup instructions and guidelines for preparing the standardized setup procedure without ignoring the actual constraints in a pharmaceutical company. It uses a case study to generate an integrated setup reduction approach, utilizing single-minute exchange of die tools (SMED) in combination with suppliers, inputs, process, outputs and customers (SIPOC), Kanban, 5S techniques and Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) indexes to achieve faster setups.

Findings

The SMED approach helps the pharmaceutical company to eliminate unwanted activities and to externalize and reduce the internal activities by simplification or standardization. The application of other tools, such as 5S and Kanban tool-kits, allowed the company to optimize the process and reduce the standard deviation of the changeover times. Good manufacturing practice (GMP) procedures of the pharmaceutical sector limit the conversion of internal setup elements to external setup elements.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates the practical application of SMED, showing how it can bring real breakthroughs in productivity to a pharmaceutical company. Moreover, in this work, we highlight the importance of an integration of different lean practices to reduce variation in the changeover time. In particular, the standardization of setup tasks and the increased reliability in the material supply chain, in addition to reducing the changeover mean time can also reduce the standard deviation of the setup process time.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article

Yuval Cohen

The purpose of this paper is to ascertain and expose considerations related to the division of assembly lines into segments, and to develop a framework for assessing the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to ascertain and expose considerations related to the division of assembly lines into segments, and to develop a framework for assessing the impact of line segmentation. In particular, the paper aims to investigate the decision regarding the number of stations in each segment, and its impact on costs, throughput, and span of control.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper analyzes the literature, identifies the main considerations related to assembly line segmentation, and develops a mathematical model that reflects important factors related to the impact of segment length on the throughput and costs. The paper derives several important bounds on the number of stations (length) of a line's segment, which should be incorporated in the final design of the line sections.

Findings

A trade‐off was found between the revenue (and throughput) and the buffer spaces located between each pair of sections of an assembly line. The higher the product price, the shorter the segments are. On the other hand, when buffer costs are higher, the line segments are longer (fewer sections and buffers are used). Interestingly, except of stoppages, the other two dominant factors in the segmentation decision are: absenteeism, and span of control. Using these factors, various upper bounds were found on the number of stations per section (which determine the total number of sections). The tightest upper bound is the active one, and this ensures line sections with a small number of stations.

Practical implications

The model provides a framework of considerations to help designers of assembly lines and production lines determine the appropriate division of the line into sections and zones, and the best allocation of stations to sections. In addition, finding effective upper bounds for the number of stations in a line section establishes the practicality of exact methods for designing and balancing each section.

Originality/value

This is the first paper to offer a quantitative treatment of the various factors affecting assembly line segmentation. By finding the upper bound on the number of station per section, the paper establishes the practicality of exact methods for designing and balancing each section separately. Moreover, it provides a sound basis for future research related to design of assembly and production lines, and management of sequential processes.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 24 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

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