Research project at MDH leads to reconfigurable production systems

Oct 23, 2012 | Research/Cooperation

Swedish manufacturing companies are asking for production systems which can quickly handle changes in volumes as well as product types and production towns. To meet this need Carin Rösiö, doctoral student at Mälardalen University (MDH), has produced a model in her doctoral thesis for how companies can develop reconfigurable production systems.

Carin Rösiö’s doctoral thesis, ”Supporting the design of reconfigurable production systems”, describes how manufacturing companies can use reconfigurable production systems to gain a competitive advantage. This means that they can easily handle changes and can easily reorganise the structure of the production system by converting, scaling, automating and integrating. These qualities will together generate the conditions for handling different types of possible future changes.
- The purpose of the thesis is to increase the knowledge of how one can support the design of reconfigurable production systems, says Carin Rösiö.  

Carin Rösiö’s  doctoral thesis is a development of her previously published licentiate thesis, in which she examined what characterises a mobile manufacturing system, and what need there exists of increased mobility within the manufacturing industry. In her doctoral thesis she has broadened the area by including several different types of changes.

Within the framework of her doctoral thesis Carin Rösiö has conducted eight case studies at six different manufacturing companies with production units in Sweden, Germany and Great Britain.
- The studies showed that there is a great need within the companies of handling changes in the production system but that it cannot be harnessed in the right way, says Carin Rösiö.

At the end of her doctoral thesis Carin Rösiö presents a model for how companies can work with reconfigurability in the development process of production systems. The model contains a tool for specifying the need of reconfigurability and afterwards how this identified need can be included in the design process of the production system.
- There is no universal solution to how companies should work to develop production systems for them to be more reconfigurable. Making them more reconfigurable by means of my model is a suggestion for a solution which will hopefully increase competitiveness in Swedish manufacturing industries, says Carin Rösiö.

More information about Carin Rösiö

Carin has been a doctoral student at the School of Innovation, Design and Engineering (IDT) in production systems since 2009, but is also working at the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management at the School of Engineering, Jönköping University. Carin has been a Licentiate of Science from Chalmers University of Technology since 2007. Among other things Carin has spent a year as a research trainee in Luleå.

At October 11 Carin Rösiö defended her doctoral thesis at Mälardalen University in Eskilstuna.