Automated analysis of interdependencies between product platforms and assembly operations
Paper in proceeding, 2016

Configurable products, like vehicles, face the challenge of handling all possible variants which are needed to answer the various customer needs. For these configurable products the support of all variants need to be addressed both by the design phase and the production phase. The product design phase and the production phase are linked together via operations. These operations model how each part of the bill-of-material is assembled to the final product. Operations also have inner relations among themselves, namely the precedence constraints, stating the order in which different parts can be assembled. Considering only the precedence constraints a product can generally be assembled in various different ways. It is through line balancing that the operations are assigned to different stations and/or assembly workers. The bill-of-material for each configurable product might be different with each variant, which will result in different set of operations. However, due to the precedence rules among the operations not all sets of operations might be possible to complete. The contribution in this paper is a automated method that can determine if all possible product variants can be successfully assembled while still satisfying precedence constraints between operations. The paper also includes an industrial example which further exemplifies the needed input for the method and the possible method outputs as a result of introducing a new variant to the product platform.

engineering Bill of Material

Product platform


manufacturing Bill of Material

Assembly operation sequence


Amir Hossein Ebrahimi

Chalmers, Signals and Systems, Systems and control

Volvo Group

Knut Åkesson

Chalmers, Signals and Systems, Systems and control

Pierre Johansson

Chalmers, Product and Production Development, Production Systems

Thomas Lezama

Volvo Group

Procedia CIRP

22128271 (ISSN)

Vol. 44 67-72

Areas of Advance

Information and Communication Technology


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