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Produktionsflexibilitet: Utveckling av produktionssystem i linje med marknadsstrategi hos stålproducenter.
2012 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Small-scale steel manufacturers in high-cost countries cannot compete by producing standardized products at lowest cost. Thus, these actors have developed marketing strategies based on increased customer orientation, where niche markets accounts for a greater share of sales. As a consequence sales are derived from a larger number of products, creating a need for a more flexible production system. However, the steel industry is characterized by inflexible production systems, with high investment costs inhibiting a transformation. As a result, a gap has emerged between production capabilities and the marketing strategy. As a first step towards eliminating this gap, this thesis aims to identify key factors in order to create a more flexible and yet cost-efficient production system for steel manufacturers. To generate this knowledge, a number of propositions have been formulated and tested. Further, this study also aims to develop recommendations how the gap between production capabilities and the marketing strategy can be reduced.A case study has been conducted at a Swedish steel manufacturer. Moreover, a simulation model has been developed based on the studied organization’s production system, as a tool to test formulated propositions. Important variables in this study are overproduction, changeover costs, lot sizes, delivery service and lead times.The result of the simulation confirms that the need for flexibility increases with increased production of niche products.Further, in discrete manufacturing there exists a fixed minimum order quantity, which all orders are multiples of. However, this pattern does not apply to the studied company, where the difference in weight between orders can be as little as ten kilograms. As a consequence, the following conclusion was drawn: The ability to produce quantities completely corresponding to customer orders are limited when the minimum lot size exceeds the minimum order quantity, as well as when the limitations for flexible lot sizes, exceeds the minimum difference between the two in quantity most similar orders.Furthermore this study concludes that high changeover costs are the biggest obstacle towards enabling flexible and yet cost-effective manufacturing. Hence, reduction of these costs should also be the main area of focus for the company studied.This study proposes that the high changeover costs are the result of changeover loss realized in material when the changeover station is placed last in the production flow. Therefore, a changeover always reduces throughput for the production system as a whole. However, if the changeover losses instead were realized in time, the output would decrease only when the changeover station is the bottleneck. Furthermore, this study shows that the average economic lot size is significantly larger than the average lot size for the studied company and argues that this is due to high changeover costs. In summary, a marketing strategy resulting in increased production of low-volume products will inevitably increase the current cost- and capability gap further, unless changes in the production capabilities are made.Finally, the following recommendations are proposed:•Invest in expanded capacity in the continuous casting and then convert changeover costs from loss of material to loss of time.•Convert changeover losses to time, when the overcapacity exist in the current continuous casting. This should be done until full utilization is reached. •Transfer low-volume production to a sister factory, with lower switching costs.•Recommendations based on the SMED methodology and continuous improvement to reduce changeover costs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 59 p.
Keyword [en]
Keyword [sv]
Teknik, Produktionsflexibilitet, stålproducenter, omställningskostnader, ståltillverkare, stålproduktion, marknadsstrategi, nischproducent, produktionsinriktning, omställningsförluster, kontinuerlig gjutning, produktmix
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-59022Local ID: f90ebe02-1ba1-460c-ad35-2c91c1f64ea9OAI: diva2:1032410
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Industrial and Management Engineering, master's level
Validerat; 20120724 (anonymous)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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