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Simulation as an Enabler for ProductionSystem Development within the Indoor Vertical Farming Industry
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering.
Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering.
2023 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

With the increase in food consumption, new ideas, and technologies began to be developed. Inaddition, the developments generated by Industry 4.0 technologies have started to be applied tothe entire manufacturing sector and the indoor farming industry, which is currently trending.Many studies and articles have been prepared on this subject, and the main goal of each study isto produce quality products and to ensure continuity in production to cover the nonendingincrease in demand.

This paper discusses how simulation technology, which is one of the industry 4.0 technologies,can be used in the production system development of the indoor farming industry. According tomany researchers, the biggest obstacle for the vertical farming industry is start-up cost, andsimulation technologies can be the solution for this since it allows future production systems tobe analyzed without any investment. To have a clear vision of how these technologies can beadapted in the indoor farming industry, this paper will find the answers to these questions, RQ1:How can simulation facilitate production system development and Industry 4.0 projects withinthe indoor farming industry? RQ2: What are the benefits and challenges when using simulationas a tool for production system development within the indoor farming industry? To reach thegoal of this paper, the case study method was used, and an indoor farming company was selectedto get more realistic data about the vertical farming system. BlueRedGold AB is a start-upcompany in the indoor farming industry, and it has a huge growth potential since they aim totransform its current production lines to be fully automated. Many articles and studies were usedto approach the solution of the research questions from a more technical and academic point ofview, and the analysis of these articles was carried out with the structured literature review method.

After conducting this research, answers have been obtained for the research questions. Theauthors' solution to the layout issue, one of the case company's main challenges as indicated inthis study, was developed after extensive simulation model testing. As highlighted in this paper,it has been stated by many researchers, there are several simulation approaches to follow.However, the authors have developed a simulation modeling approach to be followed in theindoor vertical farming industry to overcome the complexity of these systems as well as thesimulation program complexity. In addition, several challenges and benefits have beenhighlighted in this paper such as the lack of ready models of the equipment used in indoorfarming which requires a knowledge of a programing language to overcome. Finally, despitechallenges, simulation technology can provide an applicable solution for production systemproblems of vertical farming companies/organizations to obtain continuous improvementphilosophy which is the main principle of Lean thinking. The generated simulation model in thisthesis project was successfully implemented, demonstrating how this technology might be aneffective solution for complex production systems as in the indoor farming sector. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2023. , p. 52
Keywords [en]
Indoor Vertical Farming, Production System Development, Industry 4.0, Facility Layout Design, and Simulation
National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-62957OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-62957DiVA, id: diva2:1764029
Subject / course
Product and Process Development
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2023-06-09 Created: 2023-06-08 Last updated: 2023-06-09Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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