Future Assembly Information Systems - Redefining the Manufacturing Systems of Tomorrow
Doctoral thesis, 2018

Product variety continues to increase as the manufacturing industry introduces customized products and services to address the varying demands of their customers. In the manufacturing industry, it is common for large and global manufacturing companies to grow through mergers and acquisitions. As a consequence, these companies have hard times to find proper information systems integration strategies and to find commonality in their product portfolios. The introduction of Industry 4.0 kick started the digitalization journey that permeates society. Despite the digitalization initiatives, the manufacturing industry has fallen behind in terms of technology introduction in manufacturing systems. In the spirit of Industry 4.0, the manufacturing industry needs practical support on how to prioritize the development of future manufacturing systems.

The objective of this thesis is to expand the knowledgebase about the impact of the digitalization in the manufacturing industry. This thesis presents a current state analysis of the challenges of handling assembly information in manual assembly intense manufacturing companies. The thesis also presents critical aspects to overcome the identified challenges and aims to support manufacturing companies in prioritizing initiatives and in making proper preparations for starting the digital transformation. This thesis is based on three case studies conducted between 2016 and 2017. The case studies show that there are many challenges that the manufacturing industry is currently facing that makes it difficult to create smart manufacturing systems. The result of the thesis is intended to be used as input when deploying new assembly information systems to assure high flexibility and operability. Future assembly information systems will allow more customization towards the intended end-user (e.g. operator and engineer), increased automation and data-based decision-making.

On basis of the current challenges and the identified critical aspects, an industrial demonstrator has been developed to be used for validation of several design principles that have been formulated. The demonstrator will be tested by real operators during the spring of 2018 and the result will be used to spread knowledge of the impact of enhanced assembly information systems.

Manual assembly

Manufacturing systems

Industry 4.0

Assembly information systems

Virtual Development Laboratory, Chalmers Tvärgata 4C
Opponent: Assistant Professor Antonio Maffei, Department of Production Engineering, KTH Royal Institute of Sweden, Sweden


Pierre Johansson

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Production Systems

Data and Information Handling in Assembly Information Systems – A Current State Analysis

Procedia Manufacturing,; Vol. 11(2017)p. 2099-2106

Journal article

Assessment Based Information Needs in Manual Assembly

DEStech Transactions on Engineering and Technology Research,; (2017)p. 366-371

Paper in proceeding

Challenges of handling assembly information in global manufacturing companies

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management,; Vol. 31(2020)p. 955-976

Journal article

Johansson, Pierre E. C., Malmsköld, Lennart, Fast-Berglund, Åsa, Moestam, Lena. Critical Aspects of Assembly Information in the Deployment of Future Assembly Information Systems

Enhancing Future Assembly Information Systems – Putting Theory into Practice

Procedia Manufacturing,; Vol. 17(2018)p. 491-498

Paper in proceeding

Global Assembly Instruction Strategies (GAIS) 2

VINNOVA (2016-03360), 2016-10-03 -- 2018-10-01.

Global Assembly Instruction Strategy (GAIS)

VINNOVA (2013-02648), 2013-10-01 -- 2015-09-30.

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Other Mechanical Engineering

Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified

Areas of Advance




Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 4415



Virtual Development Laboratory, Chalmers Tvärgata 4C

Opponent: Assistant Professor Antonio Maffei, Department of Production Engineering, KTH Royal Institute of Sweden, Sweden

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