To use virtual tools for further development of Volvo Car´s production system - A case study of the development of the production system for P28/XC90.
Magazine article, 2002
A work procedure for virtual product and manufacturing engineering has been developed at the Volvo Car Corporation. For the first time this was fully adhered to during the development of the P28/XC90 car model. The working methods comprise both virtual and physical analysis of different aspects of the product and production process, such as packing, assembly ability and ergonomics. A decision was taken in January 2001 to make an evaluation of the virtual working methods, for which a research team from the National Institute for Working Life and Chalmers University of Technology was engaged.
The purpose was to evaluate how well the virtual working methods functioned with regard to ergonomics aspects of assembly work - and to what degree they could be applied for early identification of ergonomics problems. About 30 interviews with members of different development teams (module teams) were carried out for the evaluation. Evaluations of the assembly work for a selected number of PIIs1 for P28 were also made, starting with virtual series2 5 (VS5) in February 2001 ending with the pre-series PTO1 (Pre try-out 13) in November 2001. The overall results showed that the virtual participative working methods worked well in general and the members of the module teams (project teams) were very positive to the usage of virtual tools. A large number of ergonomic problems were identified and corrected but the number of ergonomic simulations was lower than expected. The reason for this was said to be a lack of ergonomics competence. Nevertheless the module teams believed that there was a greater potential for identifying and solving several ergonomic problems in early project phases than was the case in this study. An overall important outcome was the recommendations to the company for how to improve virtual working procedures, follow-ups of simulation results and virtual tools for the future.