AN INVESTIGATION OF THE IMPACT OF ASSEMBLY SCHEDULING ON PRODUCT FAMILY DESIGN OUTCOMES

Open Access
Author:
Artar, Hakan Umut
Graduate Program:
Industrial Engineering
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
None
Committee Members:
  • Gul Kremer, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • assembly scheduling
  • product family design
Abstract:
Manufacturers throughout the world continuosly search for improvements in order to increase their profitability. This search becomes even more challenging when demand uncertainty and fluctuations are considered. In order to achieve better profitability, many researchers and practitioners have attempted to search for improvements in the shop floor. However, within the last two decades, it has been determined that the design of the product family also provides opportunities for improvements. Designing the product family that will respond to the requirements of the customer demand is essential for the survival of companies in today’s competitive markets. When meeting customer requirements, companies also need to take cost initiatives into account. Overall, while many approaches have been proposed to optimize product family design for measures of cost and performance, many of these approaches fail to incorporate the complexity of the manufacturing issues into family design decision-making. The assembly scheduling strategies can be considered as one of the most important of those manufacturing issues. This research presents a computer simulation study by which the impact of assembly scheduling on the product family design outcomes is investigated. Overall, the research builds upon the foundation provided by Kariyakar (2000), which established computer simulation as a way to investigate product family design decisions; and it extends the studies of Su et al. (2005) wherein cost and expected customer waiting time were estimated using stochastics calculations. Simulation was used because it can provide a realistic model that is sensitive to the demand randomness and process variations. Using the results of the simulation study, analysis of different assembly scheduling and product family design strategies can be compared for performance and profitability. It is expected that when product family design decisions are made with the consideration of assembly scheduling strategies, the outcomes at the shop floor level improve. The verification of this expectation is investigated. The results have implications for companies that seek to increase their revenue without extensively increasing their investment in the shop floor.