loading page

Simulation-based potential analysis of line-less assembly systems in the automotive industry
  • +2
  • Jonas Rachner ,
  • Lea Kaven ,
  • Florian Voet ,
  • Amon Göppert ,
  • Robert H. Schmitt
Jonas Rachner
WZL | RWTH Aachen University

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Lea Kaven
Author Profile
Florian Voet
Author Profile
Amon Göppert
Author Profile
Robert H. Schmitt
Author Profile

Abstract

Increasing product variety, shorter product life cycles, and the ongoing transition towards electro-mobility demand higher flexibility in automotive pro-duction. Especially in the final assembly, where most variant-dependent pro-cesses are happening, the currently predominant concept of flowing line assem-bly is already been pushed to its flexibility limits. Line-less assembly systems break up the rigid line structures by enabling higher routing and operational flex-ibility using individual product routes that are takt-time independent. Hybrid ap-proaches consider the combination of line and matrix-structured systems to in-crease flexibility while maintaining existing structures.
Such system changes require a high planning effort and investment costs. For a risk-minimized potential evaluation, discrete-event simulation is a promising tool. However, the challenge is to model the existing line assembly concept and line-less assembly for comparison.
In this work, a comprehensive scenario analysis based on real assembly sys-tem data is conducted to evaluate the potential of line-less assembly in the auto-motive industry. Within the simulation, an online scheduling algorithm for adap-tive routing and sequencing is used. Based on an automated experiment design, several system parameters are varied full-factorially and applied to different sys-tem configurations. Various scenarios considering worker capabilities, station failures, material availability, and product variants are simulated in a discrete-event simulation considering realistic assumptions. Results show that the throughput and utilization can be increased in the hybrid and line-less systems when assuming that the stations will have failures and the assumption of an un-changed order input.