Principles of Work Structuring: A general and thus also more reasoning introduction
Preprint, 2016

This completed article (or preprint not yet finished to due to one the author’s retirement) is based on a more extensive publication that also is registered a preprint at Chalmers Public library (CPL) (i.e. Engström and Jonsson 2015 “Development and application of (certain) Principles for work structuring” a book manuscript of more than 600 pages twelve chapters and a number of freestanding appendixes) (a work that have occupied the authors' minds for almost two decades) (see the just mentioned publication that also is registered in CPL). The selected book content has been scrutinised yet another time by a professional with regard to the English language.

However, in this particular case (for this article) have just some of the content in the more extensive publication been refined further by mean of a selection of the matters that have been judged as of common interest as well as possible to delimit to approximatively some one hundred pages. This in order to create a more legible publication which could be grasped by more readers than what usual are the case. The matters treated calls for a mastering of a number of different contexts, as well as a certain sort of preunderstanding numerous details, which need to be explained to most readers. 

This is actually an almost inevitable nature of the content in this completed article, even though (rather naturally) it is, of course, likely to blame such situation on the authors themselves. Please, remember that the research and development work dealt with cowers more than the four decades work of a cross and multi-disciplinary nature. That is a hard and intensive work of both practitioner and scientist from various scientific disciplines. Efforts which have been amalgamated by the common aim to develop alternatives to line assembly featuring e.g. parallel product flow assembly systems designs with small (parallel) autonomous workgroups. 

These unorthodox (real-life) assembly systems featured (what was international unique solely in just two Swedish cases) advanced materials feeding techniques and extensively long work cycle times (some nine percent of the assembly workers were officially able to master completing whole automobiles single-handedly, i.e. all by themselves) (some more were able to do so, but they were not interested in the official test required). 

As a sort of quintessence (final proof) of the sociotechnical research tradition in the Gothenburg area, were both (1) the nowadays defunct Volvo Uddevalla plant and (2) the closed down so-called assembly docks at the Volvo Tuve heavy truck chassis plant located in Gothenburg. These sociotechnical advanced, unorthodox (real-life) designs were in most respects the responsibility of one of the two authors and his colleagues. 

Who for nine years disposed a number of experimental workshops located outside the Chalmers University of technology that were used for disassembly of automobiles and heavy truck chassis (including analyses of the content in various Volvo information systems, a content which were displayed on original and customised paper print out exposed out on elbow-high large tables besides the decomposed automotive products. 

Such approach was unavoidably needed in order to e.g. construct the appropriate assembly work instruction for the extensively long work cycle time practised, and to thereby also revise product information harboured in the various information system. (The information systems available at this period of time proved in fact to be unable to support the very unfamiliar way to assemble the products in question. In fact, they were misleading thereby giving birth to a common misunderstanding of e.g. an immense number of product variants and a far too complex product perceived to be impossible to understand.)

Finally, as said before the approximate hundred pages of the condensed more extensive publication have been rewritten by the two authors in connection to a successive proofreading by a professional (Lille-More Arnäs at the Linguae Company who is familiar with our linguistic usage and who has proof-read our publications for decades). The aim is to evolve the content further to thereby create a nucleus for our future work to finalize the more extensive publication.

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).

restructuring of information systems

materials feeding techniques

manufacturing technology

work structuring

work organisation


learning and training

assembly work

autonomous workgroups

Volvo Automobile and Truck Companies

engineering of psychological aspects

long work cycle times

cross and multi-sciences approaches


Tomas Engström

Chalmers, Teknikens ekonomi och organisation, Supply and Operations Management

Dan Jonsson

Göteborgs universitet


Annan teknik

Övrig annan teknik

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