The public defence of Erik Flores-García´s doctoral thesis in Innovation and Design

Doctoral thesis and Licentiate seminars

Datum: 2019-11-29
Tid: 13.00
Plats: room Filen, MDH Eskilstuna.

The public defence of Erik Flores-García´s doctoral thesis in Innovation and Design will take place at Mälardalen University on November 29 at 13.00 in room Filen, MDH Eskilstuna.

Title: “Supporting Decision-Making in the Design of Production Systems - A Discrete Event Simulation perspective”.

Serial number: 299.

The examining committee consists of Professor Kerstin Johansen, Jönköping University, Professor Amos Ng, University of Skövde och Professor Konstantinos Kyprianidis, MDH. Among the members of the examining committee, Associate professor Thomas Ditlev Brunø, Aalborg University has been appointed the faculty examiner.

Reserve: Associate professor Moris Behnam, MDH.

Abstract:

Manufacturing companies are increasingly required to introduce process innovations, namely new production processes or technologies, to achieve increased competitiveness. The design of production systems is considered a means to ensure the actual fulfillment of process innovations. However, literature shows that staff responsible for the design of production systems involving process innovations face unfamiliar circumstances, encounter a lack of consensus and understanding (equivocality), and the absence of information (uncertainty). Against this background, manufacturing companies find it difficult to support decision-making during the design of production systems that will lead to increased competitiveness. One way to support decision-making during the design of production systems is through the use of Discrete Event Simulation. However, understanding the use of DES for supporting decision-making in this context remains limited.

The purpose of this thesis is to support decision-making by means of Discrete Event Simulation in the design of production systems involving process innovations. The thesis reviews current understanding of production system design including decision-making and Discrete Event Simulation. This thesis adopts a qualitative case study method and a collaborative research approach to draw empirical data from three production system design projects a one manufacturing company of the heavy vehicle industry.

The findings identify conditions of use, challenges, requirements, and activities not previously reported in literature essential for the utilization of Discrete Event Simulation during production system design. These important findings are critical for supporting decision-making when manufacturing companies renew their production processes. The findings of this thesis are of value to staff responsible for the design of production systems at manufacturing companies. This thesis presents a framework contributing to the use of Discrete Event Simulation for supporting decision-making at manufacturing companies. Based on this framework, managers can supervise formal activities involving the use of DES in the design of production systems. In addition, managers can anticipate and respond to the presence of equivocality and uncertainty inherent to process innovations.