Erik Flores's research helps manufacturing companies in major decisions

Mar 16, 2017 | Research/Cooperation Global

Our society is going through big changes, not least in the industry. Manufacturing companies develop their production systems to gain competitive advantage. To evaluate and plan a new production system require strategy and consideration. Erik Flores is a doctoral student at Innofacture research school at Mälardalen University. Friday, March 17, he defends his licentiate thesis "Supporting Production System Design Decisions through Discrete Event Simulation".

Hi Erik, who are you?

I come from Mexico and hold a degree in Mechatronics from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey. Since 2014 I’ve been a part of the Innofacture research school at MDH where I’m doing research on simulation in industrial production. I am extremely talkative and in my free time you can almost always find me at the salsa dance floor.

Tell us about your research.

In my thesis, I examined how manufacturing companies can get more facts before making big changes in production by using simulation - Discrete Event Simulation (DES). To enable companies to maintain global competitiveness is a big step in the development necessary. Changes that are complex, costly, and means something completely new compared with previous production system. There is a difficulty to predict what will happen and what the changes will achieve. By frequently and early in the process simulating events with DES, the consequences can be detected before the change is implemented. By doing this you can describe the competitive advantages of the change and the company receives a well-founded basis for decisions.

How does it benefit the companies?

The Companies receive a "step-by-step guide" to lead them through the use of simulation as part of the decision making process for big changes. They get a sense of security in their decisions because they can see the consequences of the change before the change is implemented. I hope that the knowledge from my research would spread and help companies choose the right solution for their business.

You are one of the doctoral students at Innofacture, what made you choose MDH?

I chose MDH over other engineering school in Sweden because of MDH’s close interaction with manufacturing companies in the region and its engaged faculty. In the past I have worked in the automotive and automation industries and wanted to do research in my area of interest. Thanks to all the contacts and the dynamic approach to MDH, research has moved on well.

What happens now?

I plan to take a couple of days off and then I will continue refining my craftsmanship as a researcher by attending a course in the U.S. and another one in Lund University. Also, I will take part of a research project in the pharmaceutical industry in Sweden.