Quantifying Levels of Automation - to enable competitive assembly systems
Production companies frequently have to meet demands and requirements, both internal and external, which trigger a plan for change in different production areas. Assembly systems of today are heading towards more customised production, i.e. smaller batches, shorter cycle times and increased number of variants. As a result, companies have to find more flexible methods for assembling their products and become more proactive in the assembly system itself. Identifying new strategies becomes vital and can be achieved by designing the assembly system in a structured way with the most advantageous cognitive and mechanical Level of Automation.
The aim of this thesis is to show that by quantifying, measuring and analysing physical and cognitive Levels of Automation it is possible to enable competitive assembly systems.
‘If it is not Quantifiable it is not true’ – this is a common statement among engineers who rather use numbers than words when describing a phenomenon. This thesis will discuss the phenomenon of Levels of Automation from both a quantitative and qualitative point of view. Furthermore it will discuss whether it is necessary to have more than one level or dimension of automation and if so, what benefits this creates for industry when measuring and analysing Levels of Automation in their assembly systems.
‘The future assembly systems will consist of highly skilled operators...’ In order to choose and use the right level of automation, the choice itself has to be structured and well based. This thesis will discuss the importance of a structured method and an easy-to-use tool to visualise and quantify the levels of automation in the current state of a system. Furthermore, it will show how this could be used in a future analysis.
Lastly, this thesis will discuss the effects of changing mind-set from primary look at cost and productivity to also consider other parameters that could influence the system in order to be competitive.
Levels of Automation
Virtual Development Laboratory (VDL), Hörsalsvägen 7a, Chalmers
Opponent: Prof. Marco Taisch,Politecnico di Milano Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Italy