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Assembly line improvement within the automotive industry: Application of soft systems methodology to manufacturing field
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management.
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In today’s manufacturing industry there is an increased focus to produce the right product at right time and in the automotive sector the pressure on suppliers in order to deliver is high. In this matter the organization has to have clear and reachable goals together with a production system that can meet these goals. 

The aim of this study was to observe and discover improvements in an assembly line called EUCD 1 at a company working in the automotive industry. The task was from a third party perspective to identify bottlenecks and put forth recommendations for the future as to how the improvement work should be carried out at the line. The production flow has been mapped out by the use observations, interviews with personnel working on the line, qualitative and quantitative data along with System Soft methodology. The interview questions were based on Porras’ and Robertson’s Organizational framework which is divided into four sections namely technology, social factors, physical settings and organizational arrangement.

The line assembles three types of gearboxes consisting of different models which make this line very complex. This case study also includes literature studies in order to support the results found in this thesis.

This report includes a rich picture of the current state at the line for understanding how the line operates. Along with this observation and interviews have been made. Observations are supported by quantitative data and analyses to justify the problematic situation in the production line. The current state has been analysed with the help of the theories used and it revealed a distinct gap between the actual production and desired goals for the organization. The company used a methodology of solving the everyday problematic issues by temporary solutions which led to the reappearance of problems again.  

The analyses conducted have resulted in general recommendation as to how the organization should be working to eliminate the different bottlenecks permanently. A desired state has been put forward that includes how the company should operate in a long term future to make the EUCD 1 assembly line more stable with less variation in standstill situations.

The report ends with a discussion of the methodology used along with the findings obtained. The three research questions are answered along with discussions regarding how we could have done this thesis in a different manner. The reports sums up with a section for reliability of the data collected and what future studies can be conducted in the area.


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
JTH Dissertation Series
Keyword [en]
Organizational development, Production development, Lean production, Soft systems methodology, OEE, TPM
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-19550OAI: diva2:557837
Subject / course
JTH, Production Systems
2012-08-27, 14:00 (English)
Available from: 2012-10-02 Created: 2012-09-28 Last updated: 2012-10-02Bibliographically approved

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Masters thesis report 2012.Kalyani K.Sandeep G.(1357 kB)4486 downloads
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