Alternatives to Line Assembly: Some Swedish examples
Journal article, 1996

In recent years, some criticism of Lean production has occurred, focusing among other things on the working conditions and the susceptibility of traditional assembly work in a society upgrading the demands for a more humanized work. Recently, this criticism has also concerned the technical aspects of this type of manufacturing. Because of this, alternatives to line assembly merit some attention. Experiences from some innovative production systems operated in the Swedish automotive industry during the last two decades are of particular interest.

These unconventional production systems feature autonomous work groups and extended work cycles. These types of production systems are elucidated in detail by means of e.g nuance the concept of utilising buffers, i.e. there are different types of buffers (or buffer functions) as is classified (or clarified) in this publications.


autonomous workgroups

alternatives to line assembly


small workgroups

Volvo Uddevalla plant

learning and training

restructuring of information systems

parallel product flows

manufacturing technology

long work cycle times

materials feeding techniques

assembly work


Tomas Engström

Department of Transportation and Logistics

Dan Jonsson

University of Gothenburg

Bertil Johansson

International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics

0169-8141 (ISSN)

Vol. 17 235-245

Subject Categories

Other Engineering and Technologies

Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified



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