Influences of process location on materials handling: cases from the automotive industry
Journal article, 2000
During the last few years there has been a change in the physical location of activity in the automotive industry. The main trend has been towards increased outsourcing, and larger modules and more complex components are being delivered to the final-assembly plants, often in sequence. Sequencing, kitting and subassembly are frequently done at the supplier location or at an additional, intermediate facility. The need for materials handling is related to the design of materials flow systems in relation to process localisation. Five cases, having different numbers of process localisations and types of activities, are compared based on actual efficiency and potential of the system design. The results indicate that there is a large difference in the efficiency of the materials handling function depending on the existence of an intermediate facility, primarily connected to the handling of transport packages. No clear difference can be detected in relation to what types of sub-processes are located at an existing intermediate facility.