Alternative Product Structures and Product Variant Codification: Experiences from reforming the assembly line – possibilities for physical and administrative modularisation’
Artikel i övriga tidskrifter, 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).

materials feeding techniques

advanced assembly systems

long work cycle times


restructuring of information systems

parallel product flows

assembly work

work structuring

autonomous workgroups


learning and training

manufacturing technology


Volvo Uddevalla plant

material kitting


Tomas Engström

Institutionen för transportteknik

Lars Medbo

Institutionen för transportteknik