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Potential of Smart Glasses in a Spare Parts Distribution Center

Pedro Josefsson ; Sara Lingegård
Göteborg : Chalmers tekniska högskola, 2017. 103 s. Master thesis. E - Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden; E2017:037, 2017.
[Examensarbete på avancerad nivå]

The distribution of products is for many manufacturing firms a necessary yet demanding and labor intensive procedure. To fulfill the role of distribution successfully, the ability to exchange information and provide workers with information plays an important part. New technologies are developed to enable better communication of information. One emerging technology is augmented reality used with smart glasses. Smart glasses aim to visually enhance reality with additional information. Therefore, it is of interest to examine how smart glasses can be used in a distribution context. The purpose of the thesis was to identify and assess the potential of using smart glasses in Volvo Logistic Services’ distribution centers processes, compared to currently used methods. To be able to achieve the purpose, a theoretical framework was developed. In addition, the distribution center processes were mapped and further data was collected through three interviews with Volvo employees, a time study and historical performance data. The distribution center performance measures used in the thesis are productivity, quality, flexibility and ergonomics. Regarding the smart glass effect on these measures, a correlation between smart glasses and flexibility was not found. Moreover, it is concluded that smart glasses perform equally or better than current methods in regards to the performance measures. From a qualitative analysis, it is concluded that the main potential lies in using smart glasses to display additional information which today only exist through the experience of operators. Based on that statement, the potential of providing experience based information in the current distribution center processes is analyzed. Additionally, several employee suggestions of changing the processes through adding additional information is analyzed. Ultimately, two potentials were illustrated and quantified through saving estimations. In conclusion, it is recognized that the technology is rapidly developing and that smart glasses hold large potential in the future. However, it may not be sufficient to motivate a full-scale implementation of the technology in a distribution center. Instead Volvo Logistics Services are suggested to do further investigations and a proof of concept.

Nyckelord: Smart Glasses, Augmented Reality, Performance Measures, Distribution Center

Publikationen registrerades 2017-06-14. Den ändrades senast 2017-06-19

CPL ID: 249882

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