The Volvo Uddevalla Plant and Interpretations of Industrial Design Processes
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 1998

This article explains exactly how the design of the Volvo Automobile Company's assembly plant in Uddevalla gradually was forced into the final unorthodox (real-life) assembly system, this due to a number of successive sub-decisions. The logic of the projection process was inescapable leading into practicing of the parallel product flow assembly system design (small parallel workgroups were all of them completing total automobiles (this at an extensively long work cycle times) (the minimum competence required for the operators performing assembly work were 1/4 of an automobile). 

This was, in fact, a design that was international unique. The Volvo Truck Company's so-called assembly docks located at the Tuve plant in Gothenburg, was the other such sociotechnically advance (real-life) assembly system (i.e. used for completing heavy truck chassis) (two of the tree authors were responsible for both these two (real-life) efforts by means of having an experimental workshop outside Chalmers University of Technology for nine years – though naturally with extensive help and active support from both these two companies, as well as by research funds (i.e. The Swedish Work Environment Fund and later on also by The Swedish Transport and Communication Research Board, i.e. at Chalmers than this shop was closed down) (it ought to be mentioned that this article has got an academic distinction from the journal for being the year’s most interesting article).

work structuring

alternatives to line assembly

autonomous workgroups

parallel product flows

learning and training

manufacturing technology

assembly work

long work cycle times


restructuring of information systems

Volvo Uddevalla plant

materials feeding techniques


Tomas Engström

Institutionen för transportteknik

Dan Jonsson

Göteborgs universitet

Lars Medbo

Institutionen för transportteknik

Integrated Manufacturing Systems

Vol. 9 5 279 - 295



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