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Factors driving and restraining adoption of Automation technologies in Swedish wood product industry.
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management.
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Industrial Engineering and Management.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Swedish wood product industry contributes significantly to the economy of the country. This industry adds more value to the sawn timber produced in order to manufacture different wooden products. Companies in Swedish wood product industry are presently seen as underdeveloped in terms of investments and developments in automation technologies. Automation technologies are seen by companies as a solution for improving productivity, product quality, manufacturing cost reduction and ultimately improving competitiveness. This has driven competing companies to pursue automation technologies that improve manufacturing processes. Literature in the Wood product industry field shows that there is need for extended automation technologies. The wood product industry has high degree of handcraft; for instance, some Swedish wood product manufacturers still have an essentially manual manufacturing process. This study seeks to understand the role of automation in the Swedish wood product industry and mainly focuses on the factors that drive and restrain companies in this industry to adopt and use automation technologies.

An abductive research approach was applied, consisting of a literature review and multiple empirical case studies. The literature review was conducted to provide theoretical background on the general view of automation and the factors that affect adoption of new technologies in companies. The case studies were performed in collaboration with four wood product manufacturers within different business areas in order to analyse and compare similarities and differences in the factors that drive and restrain adoption of automation technologies.

The findings imply that companies in the Swedish wood product industry face different factors that drive and restrain them from adopting automation technologies. The factors are both internal and external to the companies. Among the noticeable ones are the high product variety, lack of automation strategies, heterogeneous material property of wood, low competence levels regarding automation technologies, varying demands from the customers, and relationship with the suppliers of automation technologies.

Regardles of the restraining factors faced by companies in the Swedish wood product industry, there is a great opportunity to improve their production systems in terms of automation technologies. There is now a growing treand in these companies to prioritise automation technologies as a competitive factor. This study contributes to the knowledge regarding the factors that drive and restrain the adoption of automation technologies and how companies could deal with such factors in the Swedish wood product industry.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 92 p.
Keyword [en]
Industrial competitiveness, automation strategies, Production system, investment decisions, Sweden
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-30669ISRN: JU-JTH-PRS-2-20160016OAI: diva2:940027
Subject / course
JTH, Production Systems
2016-06-13, E1105, Jönköping University, Gjuterigatan 5, 553 18, Jönköping, 11:00 (English)
Available from: 2016-07-20 Created: 2016-06-20 Last updated: 2016-07-20Bibliographically approved

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