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Off-site manufacturing systems development in timber house building: Towards mass customization-oriented manufacturing
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management.
2018 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The need for housing in Sweden has been showing a constant increase over the past couple of years. However, this situation might change in 2018 since there are indications that the increase in demand will reach its peak. On the other hand, the use of timber as a load bearing structure has become more popular in the multi-family house building sector. It is competing with concrete and steel frames, and its market share might even reach 50% by the year of 2025. Adding the involvement of customers in house design decisions and a high level of customization, the conclusion is that timber house building must continue the development towards mass customization. There is a lack of knowledge on how mass customization is developed and implemented regarding off-site manufacturing systems. In this thesis, a contribution is made to manufacturing system development in timber house building by proposing a novel approach to aligning off-site manufacturing systems to the requirements of production strategy, market needs, product design, and manufacturing processes. The proposed conceptual framework is a synthesis of the knowledge gained from three empirical studies and different methods found in theories of changeable manufacturing systems, mass customization, and manufacturing system development. The research purpose addressed by the presented work, is to increase the knowledge on how the development potential of off-site manufacturing systems can be identified in mass customization-oriented timber house building. Case study research was applied to gather the empirical data. The data collection and analysis methods used in the empirical studies can be useful when discussing the potential improvements. However, these data are not comprehensive enough in terms of presenting a holistic view of off-site manufacturing and consideration of the market as well as variation in product and processes. Therefore, a comprehensive set of requirements is proposed in the conceptual framework together with a step by step description of how the development potential of off-site manufacturing systems can be identified.

Abstract [sv]

Behovet av bostäder i Sverige har ständigt ökat under de senaste åren. Denna situation kan dock förändras 2018, eftersom det finns tecken på att ökningen av efterfrågan kommer att nå sin topp. Å andra sidan har användningen av trä som lastbärande konstruktion blivit mer populär i flerfamiljshusbyggnaden. Det konkurrerar med betong- och stålstomme och dess marknadsandel kan till och med nå 50% år 2025. Att lägga kundernas medverkan i husdesignbeslut och en hög anpassningsnivå är slutsatsen att trähusbyggnaden måste fortsätta utveckling mot mass customization (MC). Det finns brist på kunskap om hur MC utvecklas och implementeras när det gäller off-site tillverkningssystem. I denna avhandling görs ett bidrag till tillverkningssystemutveckling i trähusbyggnad genom att föreslå ett nytt tillvägagångssätt för att anpassa tillverkningssystem till de olika kraven av produktionsstrategier, marknaden, produktdesign och tillverkningsprocesser. Den föreslagna konceptuella ramen är en sammansättning av kunskapen från tre empiriska studier och olika metoder som finns i teorier om förändringsbara tillverkningssystem, MC och tillverkningssystemutveckling. Forskningssyftet med det presenterade arbetet är att öka kunskapen om hur utvecklingspotentialen av off-site tillverkningssystem utanför anläggningen kan identifieras i MC-orienterad trähusbyggnad. Fallstudier användes för att samla empiriska data. Datainsamlings- och analysmetoderna som används i de empiriska studierna kan vara användbara när man diskuterar potentiella förbättringar. Men denna information är inte tillräckligt komplett när det gäller att presentera enhelhetsbild av off-site tillverkning, utan en bedömning av marknaden samt kunskap om variationer i produkt- och processer behövs även. Därför presenteras det konceptuella ramverket, inklusive en kravlista samt en stegvis beskrivning av hur utvecklingspotentialen för off-site tillverkningssystem kan identifieras.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Jönköping: Jönköping University, School of Engineering , 2018. , p. 77
Series
JTH Dissertation Series ; 035
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics Wood Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-38611ISBN: 978-91-87289-36-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-38611DiVA, id: diva2:1175905
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-01-19 Created: 2018-01-19 Last updated: 2018-01-23Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Industrial timber house building – levels of automation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Industrial timber house building – levels of automation
2016 (English)In: ISARC 2016, International Association for Automation and Robotics in Construction (IAARC) , 2016, p. 470-477Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Swedish industrial timber house building faces a constantly increasing housing demand. In order to respond to the demand, companies in this sector, have to improve their businesses in terms of productivity. At the same time, they need to meet customer requirements, i.e., offering flexible building solutions, thus creating a balance between productivity and flexibility. Off-site assembly of exterior walls is an essential part of the house production, and cutting down lead times at this phase hence, increases the competitiveness. If introduced in a right way, automation can contribute to a higher productivity. Thus, right levels of both physical and cognitive automation are necessary. The objective of this study is to measure the current levels of automation (LoA) within the off-site exterior wall assembly. Research design consisted of a literature study and a case study that was conducted at a Swedish company that is an engineer-to-order producer of single-family timber houses. A case study design was made according to the DYNAMO ++ framework. The framework was used in the assessment of LoA and designing flexible task allocation in many manufacturing industries, but there is a lack of knowledge on how to use this method in the industrial timber house building. The average physical and cognitive LoA of 124 identified tasks are 3 and 1 respectively. Increased physical and cognitive LoA for critical tasks would enable flexible task allocation between human operators and technology. It is believed that this type of flexibility can result in less production disturbances and higher productivity when a high variety of exterior walls is assembled.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
International Association for Automation and Robotics in Construction (IAARC), 2016
Keywords
physical and cognitive levels of automation, hierarchical task analysis, exterior wall, single-family timber house, off-site assembly
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-32238 (URN)2-s2.0-84994252447 (Scopus ID)
Conference
33rd International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction, Auburn, United States, 18 July 2016 through 21 July 2016
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2016-11-04 Created: 2016-11-04 Last updated: 2018-01-19Bibliographically approved
2. Production of customized and standardized single family timber houses – A comparative study on levels of automation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Production of customized and standardized single family timber houses – A comparative study on levels of automation
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Industrialization of house building implies a higher pre-fabrication level where companies have moved from the traditional on-site to the off-site assembly. Currently in Sweden there is an increasing demand for all types of households and the companies from this construction sector lack the capacity to respond to these needs. Increasing the productivity through automation is one of the ways to address this problem. Nevertheless, introducing automation solutions without the structured analysis of the production system can lead to sub-optimization. In the analysis of processes, obtaining the current state of levels of automation has proven to be a useful step towards the identification of possible automation solutions. Producers of single family timber houses often have different business strategies, therefore their processes can differ with respect to how standardized the products are. The single case study was used as a research method and has the following research question: How different are the processes and current levels of physical and cognitive automation within the off-site assembly of exterior walls in ETO and SV projects? Both assembly lines currently have rather low physical and cognitive automation levels. However, there are tasks with higher levels of physical and cognitive automation in the ETO assembly line.

Keywords
levels of automation, industrialized timber house building, exterior wall, off-site assembly, modify-to-order, select-a-variant
National Category
Engineering and Technology Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-32239 (URN)
Conference
7th Swedish Production Symposium
Funder
Knowledge Foundation
Available from: 2016-11-04 Created: 2016-11-04 Last updated: 2018-01-19
3. Prefabrication of single-family timber houses - Problem areas and wastes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Prefabrication of single-family timber houses - Problem areas and wastes
2017 (English)In: IGLC 2017 - Proceedings of the 25th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction / [ed] I. Brilakis, K. Walsh & R. Sacks, International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC) , 2017, p. 837-844Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Industrialization of house building has shifted the activities traditionally done at building site to the off-site assembly. The design, manufacturing processes and on-site assembly in industrialized house building are defined and documented to form a process platform, but these must be evaluated and improved to constantly develop better and more efficient practice. Lean production and philosophy are still not well understood concepts at the shop floor and wasteful activities that decrease production efficiency are often overseen. Current waste categorizations and descriptions seem not to be addressing problem areas and occurrence of waste in prefabrication of single family timber houses. The research aim is to define problem areas that occur during the prefabrication of wall modules, associate them to eight types of waste and identify key problem areas for possible development and improvement. The study was based on secondary data from five case studies that primarily focused on identifying and proposing possibilities for development of productivity. Four problem areas were identified and the future improvement efforts for the prefabrication of single family houses can be placed on developing the processes of the assembly system problem area. The possible future study can aim at quantifying these problem areas.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC), 2017
Keywords
Off-site production, Wall modules, Waste categorization, Houses, Lean production, Timber, Walls (structural partitions), Wooden construction, Future improvements, Manufacturing process, Possible futures, Process platforms, Production efficiency, Single-family house, Assembly
National Category
Construction Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-38343 (URN)10.24928/2017/0133 (DOI)2-s2.0-85029597744 (Scopus ID)
Conference
25th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction, IGLC 2017, Heraklion, Greece, 9-12 July 2017
Available from: 2018-01-04 Created: 2018-01-04 Last updated: 2018-09-11Bibliographically approved

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