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Improving the Industrialisation Process at an Engineer-to-Order Company An Analysis of the Interface between Design and Manufacturing

Jonathan Bergström ; Louise Persson
Göteborg : Chalmers tekniska högskola, 2019. 85 s. Master thesis. E - Department of Technology Management and Economics, Chalmers University of Technology, Göteborg, Sweden; E2019:081, 2019.
[Examensarbete på avancerad nivå]

Engineer-to-order companies face demand for rapid development of complex products due to a dynamic market. Thus, short lead times and flow efficiency are important to ensure competitiveness. In order to ensure an efficient product development process, a smooth transition between design and manufacturing is required. Therefore the industrialisation process, which is the interface between these two, is of paramount importance. This master thesis studies the industrialisation process at a Defence and Security Company, which includes describing and analysing the product flow from the end of the design phase, via the industrialisation function, to manufactured product. The aim is to improve the performance of the product flow in terms of reduced lead times, without compromising on quality. A current state description with a visualization over the product flow was created based mainly on observations and interviews, including both the product flow of new products as well as previously produced products. This showed that the product flow was iterative and complex due to issues which arise. Parallel to this, an empirical study was conducted on two other companies, as well as the creation of a theoretical framework covering areas such as concurrent engineering, lean production within engineer-to-order environments and social sustainability. Several areas of friction with a negative impact on the performance were identified based on the current status description, such as non-standardized working procedures, non-value adding activities and low collaboration between the involved functions of the product flow. The areas of friction result in negative effects such as unwanted variation, delays and low motivation, which in turn have a negative impact on the performance of the product flow in terms of increased lead times and inadequate social sustainability. Subsequently, a set of suggested improvements were identified in order to increase collaboration, standardization and transparency, which are three key principles to consider for an improved performance. Some of the suggested improvements are cross-functional teams and meetings, standardized processes, synchronized planning, common goals and utilization of visual management. These positively affect the performance of the product flow in terms of shorter lead times and higher employee motivation. In conclusion, the theoretical contribution of this thesis is an investigation of how the industrialisation process in an ETO environment can be improved utilizing academic principles.

Nyckelord: industrialisation process, production preparation, engineer-to-order, concurrent engineering, lean production, product development process, high variation environment

Publikationen registrerades 2019-06-11. Den ändrades senast 2019-06-11

CPL ID: 256739

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