Alternative Product Structures and Product Variant Codification: Experiences from reforming the assembly line – possibilities for physical and administrative modularisation
Artikel i övrig tidskrift, 2001

This publication explains the differences between administrative and physical modularisation, which in turn implies new opportunities to deal with so-called just-in-time (JIT) deliveries. Thus are e.g. the nowadays coagulated road traffic system, in fact, possible resolve (as were the product planning system that hampered the performance of the Volvo Uddevalla plant, it was relying on traditional codification of the product variants, thus were the reduced so-called production losses never possible to accumulate between automobiles for each and every small parallel workgroup) (the information system was totally new – nothing external was allowed to enter the shop floor of this plant – but still were some assembly line approaches was still at hand).

A comment: The most socio-technically advanced assembly system designs inventible requires reformed/reconfigured information systems dealing with product data (which in turn defines the product architecture and product variation). In fact, no any such (real-life) plant or assembly system would work as anticipated otherwise. And this publication is to some extent describing some selected aspects of this (very) dilemma (changing information systems are usually not something considered than designing assembly systems) (thus are totally new plants – and in turn totally new information systems – most often the real practical change to create something unorthodox) (however, which scientist will gain such opportunities, this is really rare, i.e. the projection of the Volvo Uddevalla plant was thus an exception and the trust given by the industry – by Volvo Uddevalla project organisation – was appreciated by some of the authors).


long work cycle times

advanced assembly systems



work structuring

manufacturing technology

autonomous workgroups

restructuring of information systems

material kitting

Volvo Uddevalla plant

assembly work

learning and training

parallel product flows

materials feeding techniques


Tomas Engström

Institutionen för transportteknik

Lars Medbo

Institutionen för transportteknik

The CoCKEAS workshop New Principles of Productive Organisation: Innovation and Modular Production , GATE, Université Lumière Lyon 2, Lyon 15-16 March 2001



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