On the choice of approach for materials supply to mass customised line assembly
Conference contribution, 2007
Efficient material flows are crucial for assembly of mass customised products at a paced multi-model assembly line. With an increasing amount of product variants, demands are pressing for a line-side materials supply system that can satisfy the requirements of the production and at the same time maintain low buffer levels and contribute to short assembly stations. This paper stresses the importance of choosing appropriate methods of line-side materials supply and of having a proficient decision support tool to facilitate this. The paper first presents a theoretical background to the different methods of line-side materials supply. After this, empirical findings from the industry are presented. Based on interviews conducted in Swedish manufacturing companies within the vehicle assembly industry, conclusions are drawn regarding the existing strategies for line-side materials supply and regarding potential areas of improvement. From this, relevant areas of future research are identified.