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Digitisation & Lean Manufacturing: Changes in Manufacturing when the Products are getting Smarter and Connected
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Development, IT and Land Management, Industrial economics.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background – Through the progress in information and communication technology (ICT) new possibilities to connect smart objects via the internet arose. The number of connected devices had a strong growth in the past years and will continue rising fast in the next years as well. This new kind of smart and connected products (SCP) enables a lot of new product capabilities which have an impact on the creation of new customer value and competition on the market. Related to that, companies have to deal with digitisation and the affects for their products and manufacturing system.

Purpose – The purpose of this thesis is to investigate changes in the manufacturing system when the products are getting smarter and connected. A special focus lays on the well-established Lean thinking approach. The results shall help to understand what new circumstances the decision to make the products smarter and connected will bring for a manufacturing department.

Methodology – Relevant literature was reviewed to gain a theoretical framework. For gathering primary data, a qualitative case study was applied. Meetings with members of the case company’s management were arranged to conduct interviews. Additionally, observations were made during a guided tour through the production shop-floor and at a company presentation. The interview was recorded, transcribed and evaluated. Afterwards, the results from the case study were analysed and compared with theory based on the theoretical framework. Conclusions were made.

Findings – The differences or changes in manufacturing because the products are getting smarter and connected are much more electronic components and software. Furthermore, new operating equipment is needed. The new circumstances require new knowledge and skills. Therefore, people have to be trained. New problems occur e.g. software problems. The use of Lean tools can be more difficult and time-consuming because of missing know-how and improvements itself are becoming more digital.

Contribution – This thesis investigated the effects on the manufacturing system when the products get smarter and connected, which nobody did before. A practical case study with interviews, observations and secondary data from the company was applied.

Limitations – The findings match reality based on data from the case company. Available time and access to data from the company’s side were limited. This means that the generalisation must be done with caution. However, it can be said that the findings may apply to many other industrial companies of similar size and similar products.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 64
Keywords [en]
Digitisation, Lean Production, Industry 4.0, Internet of Things (IoT), Smart and Connected Products, Lean 4.0, Manufacturing
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-27569OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-27569DiVA, id: diva2:1232191
Subject / course
Industrial engineering and management
Educational program
Industrial management and logistics – bachelor’s programme (swe or eng)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-08-07 Created: 2018-07-10 Last updated: 2018-08-07Bibliographically approved

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