A Framework for Systematic use of Realistic Visualisation to Support Layout Planning of Production Systems
The process of designing production systems comprises a sequence of steps toward the final design and realisation. Layout planning is a significant part of this process. Its outcome should be a layout which matches the existing spatial conditions of the factory building and desired performance of the production system. To support layout planning, virtual representations of layouts can be created to plan and evaluate layout alternatives. Costly problems can arise during the realisation, if the virtual representations are inaccurate or lack details of the factory building and planned production systems. 3D laser scanning can be used to create accurate and detailed virtual representations by capturing the spatial conditions of existing factory buildings. The data from a 3D laser scan can be used for realistic visualisation of the existing factory building. If this is combined with 3D CAD models of new equipment, the planned production system layout can also be visualised realistically. Realistic visualisation has been shown to enable accurate planning and evaluation of production system layouts, but it does require a systematic working method.
The aim of this thesis is to outline and evaluate a framework for systematic use of realistic visualisation to support layout planning of production systems. This aim is addressed using an action research design; this incorporates five industrial studies targeting industrial projects designing production systems. The framework is outlined and evaluated based on the results of the industrial studies.
The outlined framework follows a project model for production systems design. It includes several design activities which rely on realistic visualisation of the planned production system layouts. The framework can be used to support the layout planning of industrial projects designing production systems. Its outcomes include making the correct decisions, reducing costly risks and problems and reducing overall project time. Layout planning supported by realistic visualisation allows manufacturing companies to reduce uncertainty when realising planned production systems.
3D laser scanning